What is a Literary Coterie and Why Does It Matter (in the Eighteenth Century)?
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What is a Literary Coterie and Why Does It Matter (in the Eighteenth Century)?

What is a Literary Coterie and Why Does It Matter (in the Eighteenth Centur...

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Chawton House Library

Chawton

GU34 1SJ

United Kingdom

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Thursday 18 May, 6.30pm drinks reception for 7.00pm talk.

Professor Betty Schellenberg (Simon Fraser University)

It has often been assumed that manuscript-circulating coterie groups disappeared under the tidal wave of print materials that flooded eighteenth-century Britain. In fact, recent arguments have questioned whether “the coterie” is a meaningful concept at all. To challenge these generalizations, Professor Betty Schellenberg will tell the stories of several widely divergent literary coteries that flourished in the middle of the eighteenth century – whether centred in a country house, a suburban grotto, an ornamental farm, a London mansion, or the virtual space of handwritten letters. The distinctive characteristics of these tight-knit networks in fact gave rise to some of the most “modern” features of eighteenth-century print publication.

Betty Schellenberg is a Professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Her interest in the relationship between literature circulating in script and print publications informs her most recent book on coteries. Other publications include The Professionalization of Women Writers in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2005), and Reconsidering the Bluestockings (2003, co-edited with Nicole Pohl).

Tickets: £11; Students/Friends £8.50 (includes drinks and canapés)

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Chawton House Library

Chawton

GU34 1SJ

United Kingdom

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