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A couple of snippets related to W. Clark Russell from around the net:
From the blog of Lizzie Ludlow
From a conference “Print Culture and the Novel 1850-1900” held on 20th January 2007, English Faculty, Oxford University:
“After two very interesting papers about the work of Mary Elizabeth Braddon (which I hope to write some notes on at some point), Andrew Nash gave a fascinating paper entitled ’”Finding a Market: William Clark Russell, Women and the Sea“ which focused on issues of pseudonymity and anonymity in relation to late nineteenth century authorship. I was interested to learn that before establishing himself as a prolific and successful nautical novelist, William Clark Russell wrote ten novels mostly under female pseudonyms and with female narrators. Published under the pseudonym Sydney Mostyn, these novels focused on female experiences of love, domestic drama, and sensation. Clark Russell, Nash argued, believed that in order to be a successful novelist he had to take on a female persona. This belief highlights the gendered nature of the late nineteenth century literary marketplace. An extract from Clark Russell’s 1872 serialized novel, The Deceased Wife’s Sister, stands out as a example of the stereotypically feminine tone his early novels developed:”
Reader, if you are a woman, you can guess our conversation. Frivolous as it was compared with my secret thoughts, I will not dent that I found an irresistible charm in our discussion of the bridal toilette, the ceremony, and the breakfast. Is it not one sign at least of the depth and mystery of a woman’s heart that it can toy with the trifles of life until, like a child, it makes the superficial itself a perpetual gladness- that superficial which wearies, which disgusts the other sex?