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Emeritus Professor Edward Copeland Awarded a Mellon Fellowship

Pomona College Professor Emeritus Edward Copeland (English) has been awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship for a project undertaking a literary investigation of the Silver Fork School, a type of novel prevalent in the period between Jane Austen’s death in 1817 and the rise of the Victorian novel in the early 1840s.

"I got into this project through Jane Austen," explains Copeland. "The Silver Fork novels come immediately after hers and some of their authors made pretty free use of Austen's works for their dialogue, plots and characters. Nobody has paid much attention to this, so I was naturally interested in following the trail.

"I found that Silver Fork novels were even more interesting to me for the use they were making of a vastly increased newspaper reading public in Great Britain. Suddenly there was a celebrity public available to novelists, one a bit like our own, as well as a consumer culture shared between the novels and the newspapers. Throw contemporary politics into the mix, all patched onto Jane Austen's novels, and you truly have something to think about."

Copeland joined Pomona in 1972, was named F. S. Jennings Professor of English in 1994, and taught at the College until 2002. He’s received several previous fellowships, including a Fulbright (1963), a Mellon (1979) and a National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) summer fellowship (1985). Copeland has published five books, including The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen; he's published two books just since his 2002 retirement. He’s also written 21 articles; his most recent piece on the Silver Fork Novel will be published by Oxford University Press this fall. Cambridge University Press will publish his forthcoming scholarly work.

Andrew W. Mellow Foundation Emeritus Fellowships (up to $35,000) support outstanding faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are officially retired but continue to be active and productive in their fields. The program also provides institutions with resources to defray any associated costs (up to $20,000). A special College committee unanimously nominated Copeland for this honor.