Abstract: Persephone Books

Persephone Books, founded in 1999 by Nicola Beauman, publishes and sells “neglected” twentieth-century women writers, positioning itself as neither too literary nor too commercial. It also has a more ambivalent relationship to feminism than its larger counterpart, Virago Press, which declined to publish some of the authors mentioned in Beauman’s 1983 monograph, A Very Great Profession. Urmila Seshagiri argues that Persephone makes modernism more accessible to a general readership; I suspect that its marketing also aims to re-direct tastes of already educated women (especially). I will examine commercial and archival materials on Persephone’s website, videos, news articles, and Beauman’s book.

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