Prof. Jessica Richard receives NEH grant for The Maria Edgeworth Letters Project

Wake Forest professor Jessica Richard poses in her office in Tribble Hall on Monday, April 11, 2022.Jessica Richard, Associate Professor of English literature and Chair of the Department of English, has a received a $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for The Maria Edgeworth Letters Project, a collaborative digital edition of the author’s letters shared by over 30 archives worldwide. 

The Anglo-Irish author Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) was the most commercially successful novelist of her age, yet a comparatively small number of her letters have been published. Correspondences of her literary contemporaries and predecessors – Jane Austen, Frances Burney, William Godwin, Samuel Richardson, and Horace Walpole – have been published or are in progress with major university presses. This NEH grant will fund the creation of a fully searchable corpus of Edgeworth’s letters. 

Professor Richard is a general editor of the project along with Hilary Havens (University of Tennessee Knoxville), Robin Runia (Xavier University), and Susan Egenolf (Texas A&M). The digital team for the project includes Carrie Johnston and Meredith Barnes of Wake Forest University’s Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication Team, and Meredith Hale, who is a metadata librarian and assistant professor at University of Tennessee Knoxville. 

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