Between the period 1790-1820, the London-based Minerva Press operated by William Lane published 756 novels; of these, approximately half bear name attributions that link them to identified authors. At least 12 of these authors were Irish, and, while they account for a relatively small percentage of the works published by Minerva in this period, they are worth considering, not least because they include several of Lane’s most popular and prolific writers. As such, they catered to readers of Lane’s expansive network of circulating libraries and trade partnerships and saw their novels circulated on a truly global scale. Their motivations for publishing with Lane are not always clear, but it is apparent that Lane’s sponsorship of a transcontinental and transatlantic book market placed their works, as it was said of Regina Maria Roche’s The Children of the Abbey (1796), ‘in the hands of every novel reader in Europe and America’.
This paper considers the body of works produced by Irish Minerva Press writers, including Regina Maria Roche (1764-1845), Sarah Green (fl. 1790-1825), and Henrietta Rouvière Mosse (d. 1835), between 1790 and 1820 in order to sketch a map of the material dissemination and spread of their works over the course of the nineteenth century. As it does so, it seeks to trace the hitherto under-valued contribution made by these writers to the development of, in Karen O’Brien’s terms, ‘a borderless and mobile European and transatlantic culture of fiction’.