Webster Erin
Cambridge University

The transition from private circulation—much fan fiction is shared on platforms aimed at specific communities—to mass publication is less unusual than these examples would have us believe; indeed, it makes up the greater part of the history of women's writing in Milton Studies. However, fan fiction has yet to be accepted as part of that history, or indeed, of the history of publication in general. Nonetheless, I would like to argue that if we problematize how we consider the form and content of fan writing in both its creation and reception, we can read fan fiction as part of a continuum of historical publication practices. This reading relies on acknowledging that we have accepted as a cultural norm hierarchies of value between print and digital that emphasize traditional patriarchal and public practices of reading and writing over private coterie practices, ones that have their roots in the history of women's reading and writing.
Keywords: Milton Fan writing; Fanzines