Women historians, gender and fashioning the authoritative self in paratexts in late-Victorian Britain

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Garritzen , E 2021 , ' Women historians, gender and fashioning the authoritative self in paratexts in late-Victorian Britain ' , Women's History Review , vol. 30 , no. 4 , pp. 650-668 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2020.1804111

Title: Women historians, gender and fashioning the authoritative self in paratexts in late-Victorian Britain
Author: Garritzen, Elise
Contributor organization: Faculty Common Matters
Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies
History
Date: 2021
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Women's History Review
ISSN: 0961-2025
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2020.1804111
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/340817
Abstract: Adopting the interdisciplinary approach of historiography, gender history and book history, the essay sheds new light on the gendered nature of historical authorship in the late-Victorian era. By analysing how historians used such paratexts as title pages, dedications and prefaces for self-fashioning, the aim is to illustrate how paratexts contributed to the gendered idea of historical authority. As men decorated title pages with academic degrees and appointments, their title pages became symbols of scholarly excellence, strengthening the idea of history as a male preserve. Thus, it is necessary to ask how women, largely excluded from such formal qualifications, used paratexts for presenting themselves as authoritative historians. By examining the paratexts of Kate Norgate, Mary Hickson and Alice Gardner, the essay demonstrates that women borrowed authority from renowned male historians to sanction their scholarly competence. Consequently, this practise strengthened the gendered image of scholarly authority since the dedications and prefatorial acknowledgments guided reviewers to measure women historians against the male authorities enlisted in the paratexts. Thus, it is argued here that the paradox was that as women’s engagement in historical research expanded, they were nonetheless submitted to the very male authority that their paratexts established.
Subject: 615 History and Archaeology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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