The nineteenth-century women’s life writing archive is a space rife with gendered intervention. ‘Silence in the Archives: Censorship and Suppression in Women’s Life Writing’ engages with forms of archival spaces ranging between the institutional, the familial, and the imaginary. Five scholarly articles examine the preservation, construction, and censorship of nineteenth-century women’s life writing using a wide range of primary sources and across disciplines including literature, history, art history, and information sciences. These articles examine evidence both incorporated within and peripheral to traditional institutional archives, suggesting that researchers’ materials and methods of interpretation must be creative and interdisciplinary, and that the concept of the ‘archive’ must be stretched beyond its traditional limitations in order to grapple with the many dimensions and remnants of nineteenth-century women’s life writing. A forum section presents new models for mediating and negotiating archival absences in nineteenth-century women’s life writing through digital innovations. The forum also suggests strategies for recovering the doubly silenced voices of nineteenth-century women of colour. This issue of 19 queries women’s role in society in the long nineteenth century across temporalities and contributes to understandings of how the creation and preservation of life writing interacted with women’s evolving domestic, societal, and self-reflexive identities. It does so by examining extant archives and recovery projects relating to both canonical and lesser known women, including Claire Clairmont, Margaret Fuller, Eva Knatchbull-Hugessen, Christina Liddell, Mary Watts, Dora Montefiore, and Margaret Harkness.
Introduction: Reading Silence in the Long Nineteenth-Century Women’s Life Writing Archive
Horrid Mysteries of Cl Cl 26: A Tale of Mothers and Daughters
Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger
Margaret Fuller’s Archive: Absence, Erasure, and Critical Work
Sonia Di Loreto
Silence, Dissent, and Affective Relations in the Juvenile Diaries of Eva Knatchbull-Hugessen (1861-1895)
Christina Liddell, the Forgotten Fraser Tytler Sister: Censorship and Suppression in Mary Watt’s Life Writing
Lucy Ella Rose
Censorship and Self-Censorship: Revisiting the Belt Case in the Making of Dora Montefiore (1851-1933)
The Harkives: Cataloguing the Coherence and Complexity of Margaret Harkness/John Law
Lisa C. Robertson, Flore Janssen
‘We the ladies… have been deprived of a voice’: Uncovering Black Women’s Lives through the Coloured Conventions Archive
Samantha de Vera
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