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The Taylors of Ongar: Faith and Pragmatism in a Dissenting Family's literary enterprise c1780-1830

Bailey, Georgina (2019) The Taylors of Ongar: Faith and Pragmatism in a Dissenting Family's literary enterprise c1780-1830. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The Taylors of Ongar were a Dissenting literary family and authors of multiple books published between 1804 and 1833. In the mid-Victorian era members of the family also published a series of autobiographies and memoirs. These works contributed to the creation of the family’s literary legacy. Today the Taylors of Ongar are associated with the conservative, evangelical literary tradition that contributed to the middle-class ideology of domesticity in the nineteenth century. Previous studies of the family have been based primarily on assessments of their books and the published autobiographies with reference seldom made to primary sources. By incorporating evidence from primary source material, including family manuscripts that were discovered during research for this study, this thesis re-evaluates the literary enterprise of the Taylors of Ongar. The new, unpublished information is contrasted with the family’s authorised biographies and a strong, female voice is returned to the family history. Particular consideration is given to the role of Dissent in the family’s life and work and the transition of that faith down the generations. The impact this had on the family history and literary legacy is discussed. The professional nature of the family’s literary work is re-evaluated and the literary reticence advanced in family biographies questioned. The impact the new evidence has on an understanding of the role of gender in their literary work is explored and the contribution of the women of the family to the success of the literary enterprise of the Taylors of Ongar is evaluated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Taylors of Ongar: Ann Taylor: Jane Taylor: Isaac Taylor: Jeffreys Taylor: literary family: literary enterprise: Dissent: nineteenth-century women writers: family business: Victorian autobiography
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Georgina Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 09:55
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 09:55

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