From Fact to Fictionality: Essay-Periodicals and Literary Novelty
Prof Jon Mee & Dr Alison O'Byrne
Jenny’s doctoral thesis focuses on the development of the essay-periodical within the period 1700-1760. The project reappraises the status of periodical works, re-evaluating the form’s importance as a literary mode of expression by examining how the essay informed, and was informed by, the emergence of the novel. Adopting methods of book history, she explores questions of: printing networks and geographies; publication schedules; comparative costs of reading periodicals and novels; and the development of fictionality. Focusing on London’s print trade, the project examines the work of British authors who had successful careers as both periodicalists and novelists such as Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Henry Fielding, and Samuel Johnson.
Her wider research interests include: literature and culture in the long eighteenth century; the history of the novel in English; periodical and essay writing; networks and sociability.
She holds a BA in English from the University of Cambridge and completed an MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York in 2016. Her current research is funded by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities, and she has held fellowships at the Harry Ransom Centre (2018/19) and the BSECS/QMCECS visiting short-term fellowship for 2018.