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UCO Professor's Recently-Published Book Introduces New Generation To 19th-Century Novelist

Pamela Washington, Ph.D.

March 6, 2013

Media Contact:  Courtney Harlin, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121,


University of Central Oklahoma professor of English and former dean for the College of Liberal Arts Pamela Washington, Ph.D., helps a new generation discover an all but forgotten writer of the 19th century in her newly published, non-fiction book “E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist.”

Emma Dorothea Eliza Nevitte Southworth was an American writer of more than 60 novels and is considered one of the most popular fiction writers in the United States during the mid-19th century. She published many of her books under the name E.D.E.N. Southworth.

“Southworth’s fiction, which was first serialized in popular magazines, then published as novels, is full of strong women who are multi-faceted.  She was engaged with the social and political issues of the day and deserves more attention from readers and the academic community,” said Washington.

“This collection of essays is important because it is the first book-length work devoted entirely to Southworth. It is interesting because it focuses attention on many of her novels which have not been explored by scholars before thus opening up new streams of thought about this prolific writer.”

Published by the University of Tennessee Press, Washington and her co-editor Melissa Homestead, Ph.D., professor at the University of Nebraska, have gathered 12 original essays from both established and emerging scholars that set a new agenda for the study of E.D.E.N. Southworth’s works.

Following an introduction by the editors, these articles are divided into four thematic clusters: “Serial Southworth,” “Southworth’s Genres,” “Intertextual Southworth,” and “Southworth, Marriage, and the Law.”

The collection concludes with the first chronological bibliography of Southworth’s fiction organized by serialization date rather than book publication. For the first time, scholars will be able to trace the publication history of each novel and will be able to access citations for lesser-known and previously unknown works.

Washington has taught at Central for 23 years, specializing in rhetoric and composition however, most of the courses she teaches focus on 19th century American women or American Literature.

She is currently working on two research projects. One of her projects explores Southworth’s portrayals of commerce and economics in her novels. The other project explores uses of the rhetoric of independence in nineteenth century women’s fiction.

“E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist” may be purchased at

For more information about the Central’s College of Liberal Arts, visit


Editor’s Note: Art for publication to accompany this article may be downloaded at this website:

Cutline: University of Central Oklahoma professor of English and former dean for the College of Liberal Arts Pamela Washington, Ph.D., recently published “E.D.E.N. Southworth: Recovering a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist,” the first book-length publication devoted to the works of this all-but-forgotten American writer.