Sara Penn is an MA Candidate in Simon Fraser University's Department of English and has worked on the WPHP since December 2018. 

What are your research interests?

Where to start?! I’m researching the prostitute narratives of eighteenth-century chapbook publisher, Ann Lemoine. What is the literary significance of recovering Lemoine’s prostitute chapbooks? What do her prostitute chapbooks tell us about the social history and representation of prostitutes? How does her work impact England’s book history? In undertaking this research, I hope to find new insights into England’s literary history during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

How did you get involved with the WPHP?

I formally met Michelle (our Project Director) at a women’s book history conference a few summers ago. She presented work on WPHP and I felt inspired. I emailed her asking if she needed any help with the database and she hired me as an RA a week later. For anyone hoping to get involved with a project––just ask!

Do you have a favourite entry that you’ve worked on? What is it/why?

Sarah Wilkinson’s The Wife of Two Husbands is fun. The title alone would have been considered a saucy subject at the time.

What is the worst task you’ve done for the WPHP?

I’ve been tasked with adding Ann Lemoine’s 270 books to the database. I wouldn’t call this the “worst” task because her works are directly related to my research, but it was certainly tedious to add the same publisher again and again...

Do you have any pets?

I’m a proud cat mom to two Russian Blues, Starsky and Hutch. We adopted them a month after moving in together when they were six months old. (I don’t recommend this.)

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working on the WPHP?

I’m learning how to ride a bike this summer. My wrist, knee, and elbow pads have proven themselves to be a worthwhile investment. I’m also experimenting with tofu fried “chicken” recipes, a delicious but dangerous pursuit.