Department of English
Cockefair Hall 16F
FAX (816) 235-1307
Jennifer Phegley, Professor and Associate Chair of English, (B.A. in English and History, Texas State University, 1992; M.A. in English, The Ohio State University, 1995; Ph.D. in English, The Ohio State University, 1999).
Areas of Specialization: Victorian Periodicals; Authorship, Reading, and Publishing in the 19th Century; Transatlantic Studies; Sensation Fiction; Pedagogy.
Author of Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England (Praeger 2012) and Educating the Proper Woman Reader: Victorian Family Literary Magazines and the Cultural Health of the Nation (The Ohio State University Press 2004). Co-editor of Transatlantic Sensations (with John Barton and Kristin Huston; Ashgate 2012); Teaching Nineteenth-Century Fiction (with Andrew Maunder; Palgrave 2010), and Reading Women: Literary Figures and Cultural Icons from the Victorian Age to the Present (with Janet Badia; University of Toronto Press 2005).
My latest book project, Magazine Mavericks: John Maxwell, Samuel Beeton, and the Development of Niche-Market Periodicals in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England, examines John Maxwell’s working-class family magazines and Samuel Beeton’s women’s, boys’ and girls’ magazines established in London between the 1850s and the 1870s. The book explores three major questions: How and why did these entrepreneurial publishers conceptualize new magazine formats to shape and reach neglected audiences? What role did their collaborations with the remarkable women in their lives, authors Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Isabella Beeton, and Matilda Brown, have on their innovative publishing ventures? And, finally, what impact did these media moguls have on the Victorian periodical industry and on our contemporary publishing practices? This project provides the first comprehensive study of the niche-market magazines founded by these neglected publishing entrepreneurs who risked everything, achieved great successes, and suffered devastating losses in their efforts to shape new markets for literature.