Author Biography

Karenza is a Ph.D. Candidate and Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa with a background in literature, history, and cultural studies. She is currently revising her thesis “The Female Guise: the Untold Story of Female Education in English Periodicals” for defense. Her research focuses on textual and visual representations of women learning in female-penned periodicals. She was recently co-awarded the D. W. Smith Eighteenth-Century Research Fellowship by CSECES to build an open access scholarly digital edition of Lennox’s Lady’s Museum (1760-61) with Kelly Plante from Wayne State University. Susan Carlile is Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach. She is the author of Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind (Toronto, 2018), Masters of the Marketplace: British Women Novelists of the 1750s (Lehigh, 2010), and Lennox’s 1758 novel Henrietta (Kentucky, 2008) with Ruth Perry, as well as articles on women satirists and periodicalists, teaching eighteenth-century women writers, and literary legacy.


This essay argues for the value of teaching Charlotte Lennox’s periodical The Lady’s Museum (1760-61) in undergraduate literature, history, media studies, postcolonial, and gender studies classrooms. Lennox’s magazine, which includes one of the first serialized novels “Harriot and Sophia” (later published as the stand-alone novel Sophia (1762)) encouraged debate of the proto-discipline topics of history, geography, literary criticism, astronomy, botany, and zoology. This essay offers a flexible teaching module, which can be taught in one to five days, that focuses on the themes of early female education and imperialism using full or excerpted portions of essays from the eidolon, “Of the Studies Proper for Women,” “Of the Importance of the Education of Daughters,” “Philosophy for the Ladies,” “The Metamorphoses of Animals, and the Several Changes Observable in Animal Life,” “The Natural History of the Formica-Leo, or Lion Pismire,” “Some Reflections and Deductions Drawn from the Works of Nature in General,” “The Lady’s Geography,” “The Original Inhabitants of Great Britain,” The History of the Princess Padmani,” and as well as Lennox’s serialized novel Sophia (1762). It also inaugurates a new resource, the Lady’s Museum Project, which is an open-access edition designed by Kelley Plante and Karenza Sutton-Bennett and includes full text and redacted versions for teaching and a variety of other pedagogical materials.


feminism, Lennox, Sophia, periodical, proto-discipline, pedagogy, imperialism, HSI