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Nancy E. Henry
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37916-3801)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2014 – 7/31/2015

Women and the 19th-Century Cultures of Investment

This project defines the cultures that emerged in response to the democratization of the stock market in nineteenth-century Britain when investing provided increased access to financial independence. Women voted in shareholder meetings, as they could not in political elections, and their role as investors complicates notions of separate domestic and public spheres. Women writers often invested income from their writing, becoming contributors to national and global economies, and their novels represent these economic networks in realistic detail while examining the intertwined economic and affective lives of characters. Analyzing evidence about real investors together with a wide range of fictional examples, I argue that investing was not just something women did in Victorian Britain; it was a distinctly modern way of thinking about independence, risk, global communities and the future in general.