CFP: Centenary Essays on Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Special Issue of Women’s Writing

CFP: Centenary Essays on Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Special Issue of Women’s Writing

Co-edited by Anne-Marie Beller and Kate Mattacks

Mary Elizabeth Braddon was widely acknowledged to be the queen of the circulating libraries in the mid-Victorian period. She enjoyed a phenomenal popular and commercial success and became a by-word throughout the second half of the nineteenth century for the professional woman writer. This Special Issue of Women’s Writing seeks to assess the significance of Braddon’s long and prolific career, stretching from 1857 to 1915, and also her influence on both her contemporaries and on subsequent writers. In what ways did Braddon’s success inspire, stimulate, enrage, or encourage other female writers and how was Braddon’s particular brand of sensationalism emulated or adapted by later authors?

Possible topics for essays (5000 to 7000 words) might include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • Braddon’s influence on the contemporary literary marketplace
  • Braddon’s critical reception, then, since, and now
  • Braddon’s career as an actress
  • Braddon’s poetry
  • Braddon’s drama
  • Braddon and French fiction
  • Braddon’s life: scandals, celebrity, etc.
  • Themes of Braddon’s fiction
  • Braddon’s network – peers, rivals, mentors
  • Braddon’s influences (Dickens, Brontë, Bulwer, Balzac, Flaubert)
  • Braddon’s legacy
  • Adaptations of Braddon’s work

Please send abstracts of 350 words and a short (150 words) biographical note to Dr Anne-Marie Beller ( and Dr Kate Mattacks ( by 15 February 2016. Final essays of 5000-7000 words will be due by 30 April 2016.

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