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Grant number like: FT-55730-08

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Miriam Lynn Bailin
Washington University (St. Louis, MO 63130-4899)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 9/30/2008

British Literary Societies: A Cultural History, 1880-Present

My project is the first academic investigation of British literary societies from their inception in the Victorian period to the present. The Jane Austen, Browning, and Bronte Societies are perhaps the most familiar of these organizations, but there are well over a hundred of them currently registered as educational charities in Britain. Their activities include the purchase and restoration of properties associated with a given author, the promotion of an author's work in various venues and media, and the publication of newsletters, journals, and books related to the author's life and work. My objectives are to examine the impact these highly influential organizations have had and continue to have on literary production, distribution, and reception; and to explore through their activities and publications the myriad ways in which British reading communities have experienced literature over time.