The Young Woman and Scotland: The Late-Victorian Writings of Ethel Forster Heddle and Isabella Fyvie Mayo in Girls’ Print Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines two under-researched Scottish women writers
of children’s literature, Ethel Forster Heddle and Isabella Fyvie Mayo,
who were regularly featured in the pages of children’s periodicals in the
late nineteenth century. Although these two women differed in their
backgrounds and political views, they were both keen writers from their
childhood and both engaged with debates concerning the ‘woman question’ in their writing. In the magazine the Young Woman, a London-based
publication which featured a high number of Scottish women writers,
Heddle and Fyvie Mayo were able to air their views on the position of
girls. Printed responses from readers, especially in Heddle’s ‘Between
Ourselves: a Friendly Chat with the Girls’ correspondence page, show
that readers held up Heddle and Fyvie Mayo’s Scottishness as a mark
of their literary repute. The two women were uniquely positioned
to guide aspiring girl writers, given their professional success, strong
Scottish identity in their writings, and their experience of writing and
publishing from a young age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-64
Number of pages21
JournalScottish Literary Review
Volume14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Children’s literature
  • Nineteenth-century print culture
  • Nineteenth-century periodicals
  • Girls’ periodicals
  • Publishing
  • Ethel Forster Heddle
  • Isabella Fyvie Mayo

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