Introduction. Notes on a Margin: British Women Writers and Acts of Annotation


The special issue of Partial Answers devoted to British women writers is organized around the theme of marginalia, a concept that shifts attention away from the commonplace critical understanding of "margin" as merely an indicator of status and toward the intellectual work that occurs within it. The relation of "margin" to "center" articulates the position that women authors have historically occupied vis-à-vis a male tradition of literary creation; however, the margin is also a space of possibility that invites women authors to enter into an intellectual exchange with this tradition and to generate their own responses to it. The introduction surveys the essays collected in the issue as reflecting in different ways on the complex literary and discursive effects of women's liminal locations.