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Writers, Readers, and ReputationsLiterary Life in Britain 1870-1918$
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Philip Waller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

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Securing the Future

Securing the Future

Chapter:
(p.427) 11 Securing the Future
Source:
Writers, Readers, and Reputations
Author(s):

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.003.0011

This chapter considers the stratagems used by well-known writers to ensure a favourable image after death: by nominating a trusted family member or otherwise discreet individual to compose an exemplary biography; by destroying correspondence and weeding papers; by self-consciously unburdening themselves to select intimates; by encouraging societies dedicated to their memory; and by keeping a diary or issuing autobiographical reflections. Writers who endeavoured to take such precautions, with incomplete success, include Robert Louis Stevenson, D. G. Rossetti, George Eliot, Henry James, the Brownings, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Hardy, George Moore, and Tennyson. The difficulties encountered by guardians of writers' reputations are illuminated by reference to Edmund Gosse, Theodore Watts-Dunton, Sidney Colvin, J.G. Lockhart, Mrs Gaskell, J. A. Froude, and Anne Thackeray Ritchie.

Keywords:   biographies, autobigraphical reflections, diaries, correspondence

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