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British Women Writers of Peninsular Fiction

Valladares, Susan

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Ian Haywood

Diego Saglia


This chapter examines the impact of the Peninsular War on female-authored fiction of the 1810s, focusing on the contributions made by Mary Hill, Susan Fraser (who wrote under the pseudonym “Honoria Scott”), “Mrs Meeke” (a prolific contributor to the Minerva Press) and Anna Maria Porter. Reading these authors as precursors to Alexander Dallas, who is generally seen as the instigator of the Peninsular War novel “proper”, this chapter illustrates how stereotypically feminine themes—namely, religion, the home and family—were used to explore masculine codes of war‚ politics and power. By investigating experimentations with narrative voice and different sub-genres, including the gothic, historical romance and travel narratives, it aims to recover how a hitherto overlooked group of women writers were able to stake a claim to the literary marketplace and, in turn, influence the novel’s subsequent development.


Valladares, S. (2018). British Women Writers of Peninsular Fiction. In I. Haywood, & D. Saglia (Eds.), Spain and British Romanticism, 1800-1840 (195-213). Palgrave Macmillan.

Online Publication Date Dec 28, 2017
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date Oct 19, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2021
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 195-213
Series Title Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters
Book Title Spain and British Romanticism, 1800-1840
ISBN 978-331964455


Accepted Book Chapter (216 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a chapter published in Spain and British Romanticism, 1800-1840. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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