The Middlebrow Network is an association of scholars who are interested in the sort of literature despised by Viginia Woolf. She was proud to be called a highbrow, and admired the vigour of the lowbrow – but the stuff in the middle – that was what suburban people read.
Recently there has been an increase of academic interest in this field, led by feminist scholars interested in what women of the twentieth century actually read (as opposed to the stuff that they ought to have read). They discovered that there is a lot of good stuff that has been neglected in the past by those academics whose main twentieth-century interest has been modernism. The backlists of Virago and Persephone Books give some idea of the riches.
Perhaps it’s for that reason that the bibliography of the network’s new website is very female-oriented. Maybe the upcoming London Masculine Middlebrow conference in March will redress the balance a bit (I’ll be giving a paper there on Gentleman Crooks of the Twenties.)
The Network’s new website is very promising, and its resources page has some good links,including one to the Old Magazine Archive – but i warn you, if you click on that, you’ll find yourself wasting at least a couple of hours.