On April 5, 2018, Drs. Claire Battershill and Helen Southworth used Zoom (a video conferencing software) to join the Literature & Digital Humanities (DH) English department graduate seminar taught by Dr. J. Ashley Foster at California State University, Fresno, and share the creation and production of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP). The following is a collaboratively-written account of their contribution to the class.
MAPP co-founders and team members Claire Battershill and Helen Southworth have both recently published well-received books focusing on the concept of biography as it relates to Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press. Here is a brief introduction to both works, which epitomize the kind of rigorous historical research made possible through deep engagement with archival materials such as the ones MAPP curates on its continually-expanding site.
Beginning in that annus mirabilis of modern literature, 1922, and petering out in 1950, the letters between novelist E. M. Forster and the Hogarth Press provide a fascinating and extended glimpse of the relationship between one of England’s best novelists and his publishing agents. This trove of letters features discussions about the technical particulars of paper color and type, of distribution and copyright, but they also hint at personal details of the correspondents, most notably between Leonard Woolf and Forster, or “Morgan” as he’s addressed.