Congratulations to PAMLA member, Professor of Education at Brock University, and the author of The Children’s Book Business: Lessons from the Long Eighteenth Century, Lissa Paul, on the publication of Eliza Fenwick: Early Modern Feminist (University of Delaware Press, 2019). The book traces the life of Eliza Fenwick, an extraordinary woman who paved her own unique path throughout the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as she made her way from country to country as writer, teacher, and school owner.

Lissa Paul brings to light Fenwick’s letters for the first time to reveal the relationships she developed with many key figures of her era, and to tell Fenwick’s story as depicted by the woman herself. Fenwick began as a writer in the radical London of the 1790s, a member of Mary Wollstonecraft’s circle, and when her marriage crumbled, she became a prolific author of children’s literature to support her family. Eventually Fenwick moved to Barbados, becoming the owner of a school while confronting the reality of slavery in the British colonies. She would go on to establish schools in numerous cities in the United States and Canada, all the while taking care of her daughter and grandchildren and maintaining her friendships through letters that, as presented here, tell the story of her life. 

Louise Joy of Homerton College, University of Cambridge, said of Paul’s book, “The scholarship is meticulous, exhaustive, and wide-ranging, and the author shows intimate and in-depth familiarity with the material.” Congratulations to Lissa Paul on her fascinating new publication.