Article

Virago Press By Lipton, Shawna

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1142-1
Published: 01/10/2016
Retrieved: 25 August 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/virago-press

Article

Abstract

Virago Press is a British publishing company founded in 1973 by Carmen Callil primarily to endorse women’s writing and increase awareness of women’s literary history. Inspired by the women’s movement, the name ‘Virago’ and the bitten apple logo suggest the power of courageous, outspoken females, as well as the power of subversive knowledge. Elaine Showalter’s (1941–) A Literature of their Own (1977) influenced the Virago Modern Classics series, which reissues books by overlooked or underappreciated writers.

Virago Press is a British publishing company founded in 1973 by Carmen Callil primarily to endorse women’s writing and increase awareness of women’s literary history. Inspired by the women’s movement, the name ‘Virago’ and the bitten apple logo suggest the power of courageous, outspoken females, as well as the power of subversive knowledge. Elaine Showalter’s (1941–) A Literature of their Own (1977) influenced the Virago Modern Classics series, which reissues books by overlooked or underappreciated writers. Launched in 1978, this series became the hallmark of the brand and a key to its success. The imprint includes the work of Dorothy Richardson (1873–1957), Rebecca West (1892–1983), Radclyffe Hall (1880–1943), Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962), H. D. (1886–1961), Gertrude Stein (1874–1946), Djuna Barnes (1892–1982) and other innovators of modernist literature. Virago’s reprints of women’s fiction have contributed to the scholarly reappraisal of the ‘New Woman’ and other aspects of Gendered Modernism, demonstrating the press’s impact on literary criticism and modernist studies.

Further Reading

  • Callil, C. (2008) ‘The Stories of Our Lives: Carmen Callil on Virago’ The Guardian, April 26, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/apr/26/featuresreviews.guardianreview2.

  • Murray, S. (2004) Mixed Media: Feminist Presses and Publishing Politics, London: Pluto Press.

  • Showalter, E. (2009) A Literature of their Own, London: Virago.

  • Virago Press: International Publisher of Books by Women, http://www.virago.co.uk.

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Published

01/10/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM1142-1

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Citing this article:

Lipton, Shawna. "Virago Press." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 25 Aug. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/virago-press. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1142-1

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