Placing the Margins: Literary Reviews, Pedagogical Practices, and the Canon of Victorian Women’s Writing

Cheryl A. Wilson, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The literary review and critical essay were complicated genres informed by the demands of the publishers and the expectations of readers. This essay examines critical writings by Victorian women, including George Eliot, Margaret Oliphant, and Anne Thackeray Ritchie, within the contexts of canon studies and reception theory to demonstrate how Victorian women writers were actively involved in acts of canon formation that both attest to the cultural implications of their work and have significant implications for contemporary pedagogical practices. Topics such as recovery work, anthology formation, and the role of the periodical press in the nineteenth century are also considered within this framework.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]