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VCU English
Faculty Forum: Dr. Catherine Ingrassia
"Laetitia Pilkington and the Poetical Stockjobbing"

This talk explores the ways poet and memoirist Laetitia Pilkington (c. 1708-1749) operated as what she termed a "poetical stockjobber." Before her public, acrimonious divorce in 1738, Pilkington was an intimate of Jonathan Swift's, intermittently published her poems, and engaged in a vibrant literary circle. After her divorce, however, Pilkington was forced to find a way to support herself (and her children). As she details in her three-volume Memoirs (1748), during this period she operated a pamphlet shop, sought patrons, and, most successfully, operated as a writer-for-hire in London, ghost-writing everything from poems to petitions. Her (relative) success in this venture reveals much about eighteenth-century print culture, the literary marketplace, and the often-precarious conditions of women's literary production.

Oct 27, 2020 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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