The Scottish writer, Annie S[hepherd] Swan (1859–1943), achieved commercial success and celebrity status largely on the back of the expansion in print culture and the market boom in serial fiction at the end of the nineteenth century. Still legendary in Scotland for her long association with the Dundee-based weekly paper, the People’s Friend, it is, however, Swan’s association with a London-based women’s periodical, the Woman at Home, which has attracted more sustained scholarly attention. This has left other aspects of her career and work under-researched. In adopting a book historical approach rather than a literary critical one to examine Swan and her publishing career, this article demonstrates ways in which Swan’s literary celebrity was mined by her publishers to maximum commercial advantage and how they competed over access to her name. It also proposes Swan’s name as an early experiment in author branding to promote three periodicals and one gift annual. More broadly, it illustrates some of the ways in which publishing contexts for popular fiction shifted over the course of Swan’s long career.


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pp. 91-109
Launched on MUSE
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