Mary Howitt and Howitt's Journal (1847–48)
This article examines a rare phenomenon in nineteenth-century British print culture, a periodical jointly edited by a husband and wife team. Howitt’s Journal, a weekly miscellany with a progressive political agenda, ran for only eighteen months from January 1847 to June 1848, edited by William and Mary Howitt. The history of Howitt’s Journal is particularly relevant to the question of women’s agency in the world of periodicals, the ways in which women editors could have a public voice and engage in debate on political and social issues. One methodological issue the article raises is how we assess an editor’s contribution to any publication, the nature of their input, and the extent to which they drive the agenda. In the case of a joint editorship, how do we identify the contributions and responsibilities of each editor? The paper is based on an examination of Mary Howitt’s unpublished letters in the Houghton Library, Harvard, which provide new evidence of the extent of her involvement in the Journal. It tests the Howitts’ editorial style, and Mary’s in particular, against theories of editorship put forward by Patten and Finkelstein (2006) and Matthew Philpotts (2012) and suggests that these models of editorship are essentially masculine.
Copyright (c) 2021 Joanne Shattock
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).