Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture

By Chris Mounsey | Go to book overview

"To the Women of Both Sexes":
Christopher Smart, Mrs. Mary Midnight, and
the Voice of the Dissident Woman Writer

CHRIS MOUNSEY

VERY LITTLE RESEARCH HAS BEEN UNDERTAKEN ON CHRISTOPHER Smart's "less serious" prose: that is to say his periodical journalism. Robert Mahony and Betty Rizzo's Annotated Bibliography1 lists no academic papers on The Student, The Midwife, or the Universal Visitor.2 To begin to redress the balance, the present paper will consider The Midwife (1750–53), Smart's most successful journal. The two major biographies of this century take little interest in it. Christopher Devlin spares six pages of his Poor Kit Smart3 for extracts from The Midwife, but they are left without critical engagement since he claims the writing was: "Deliberately ephemeral juvenili"a": "which" never once "showed" the keen bite of intellectual satire, never the thrill of creative fantasy that can play on different levels, no sign that the author was a poet."4 Though the magazine involved three years work by his subject, Devlin dismisses it, since: "This is a life of Smart, not a monograph on eighteenth century journalism, so we now say goodbye to Mrs. Midnight—except so far as she indicates the events in Smart's life."5

The index of Arthur Sherbo's Christopher Smart: A Scholar of the Uni- versity lists seven references to The Midwife. Of these, only one has anything substantial to say:

None of… "Mrs. Mary Midnight's wit"… is acidulous; all is conceived
and carried out in a spirit of good clean fun, with the author enjoying his
own wit and humour as much as anybody else.… This even extends to
"The Midwife's Politicks: Or, Gossip's Chronicle of the Affairs of Europe,"
a concluding part to each issue clearly modeled on the "Historical Register"
or "Foreign Intelligence" of other periodicals.6

In this comment, we see Professor Sherbo attempting to play down his scholar's association with Grub Street hackdom, so he avoids any lengthy critical appreciation of the magazine itself. Only John Sitter

-274-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 293

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.