The History of the Society of Authors, 1884–1914

Join us on Zoom on 20 October, 4-6pm as we launch a new digital archive: ‘The History of the Society of Authors, 1884–1914’.

This expanding resource enables users to explore the membership and structure of the most prominent literary society of the period, and to find out more about the involvement of prominent authors, dramatists and composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including Walter Besant, Wilkie Collins, Edmund Gosse, Rider Haggard, Anthony Hope, Edith Nesbit, George Bernard Shaw and Mary Augusta Ward. Visitors can also browse a complete, digitised run of the Society’s periodical, The Author, from 1890 to 1914, delving into c. 10,000 pages including advertisements, supplements and volume indices which are made available open access for the first time.

This event is part of the collaborative, four-year project, ‘The Society of Authors, 1884–1914: Professional Association and Literary Property’, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, which examines the early history of the Society of Authors from its formation in the 1880s through to the beginning of WW1.

PI Professor Richard Salmon (University of Leeds) will introduce the project and some of its early findings. Collaborators Dr Andrew Nash (School of Advanced Study), Professor Clare Pettitt (King’s College London) and Gillian Neale (School of Advanced Study) will reflect on different facets of the Society’s history, from its impact on drama and copyright to its role in fostering the careers of new writers, and Dr Emily Bell (University of Leeds) will introduce the digital archive, giving participants the opportunity to explore the website for the first time and ask questions to all speakers.

Please note that this event will take place on Zoom.