L.T. Meade (1844–1914) (Elizabeth (Lillie) Thomasina Toulmin Smith, née Meade) was an immensely prolific Irish author who wrote across a number of genres in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including but not limited to juvenile fiction, girls’ school stories, crime fiction, medical mysteries, social protest fiction, sensation fiction, historical romance, ghost stories, adventure fiction, and so-called “career” novels for young women. Many of her early novels were examples of “slum fiction,” focusing on London street children, but it was her books for adolescent girls that initially brought her fame and success. Her bestselling 1886 novel, A World of Girls, is credited with establishing many tropes of the girls’ school story, and her work for girls in general helped develop the concept of teenaged girls as a distinct and marketable readership (see Mitchell 1995). Between 1887 and 1893, she edited the girls’ magazine Atalanta, and in 1899 she was voted...
KeywordsIrish authors Children’s literature Crime fiction Girls’ books New Woman Professional authorship Periodicals
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