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Translation, Authorship and the Victorian Professional WomanContemporary translation studies redefine the concept of translation as a form of textual transformation. The role of the translator can be addressed from several points of view which evaluate the different shapes and approaches that the translator uses negotiating the tensions between the original text and context and the society and time when the translation is introduced. Post-colonial and gender studies are particularly fitting when the time and context is the England of the nineteenth century(1).
Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and George Eliot
Lesa Scholl, The University of Queensland, Australia
This is mostly due to Brontë's conscious avoidance of the periodical press and her geographical isolation in Haworth. Yet while she did not write for periodicals as a professional author, she was highly aware of the workings of the press, due to reading many journals along with her family from childhood, and creating her own forms of private journalism with her siblings. Interestingly, she participated in the wider literary sphere by being a private reader for her publishers, Smith, Elder & Co. (...) Brontë was also, like Martineau, a strong businesswoman, as seen in her letters to publishers: she understood the business of writing.Which, of course, are true but still doesn't dissipate the doubt that dealing with the subject studied in the book, Charlotte Brontë was not in the same league as Martineau or Elliot. Of course this doesn't mean that many of the presented discussions are relevant and equally thought-provoking.
Brontë's exposure to French language and literature thus shape[d] her future English writing, but in a way marked as her own, not in imitation of Heger. (p. 50)The second part is concerned with the ways in which George Elliot's translations or Martineau's were pathways to a different kind of literary recognition and how these authors dealt with the business of writing. Charlotte Brontë's ambition to be a writer is traced back to the juvenilia with her and Branwell's tensions when they 'edited' the Blackwood's Young Men's Magazine. The business dealings associated with the literary profession and Charlotte Brontë's role as a businesswoman are explored in connection with fragments from Shirley.