His and Hers Inkwells: 1500

His Hers Inkwells: 1500

Art Piece (Carrie Roy): brass, plastic 10” x 6” x 3”

Wells of inspiration, inspiring new applications for modern technology.

Special thanks to Robert Swader for design assistance and 3D printing and to T. Rock Mackie's Medical Devices laboratory, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.


Literary Perspective (Catherine DeRose): Women writers were prolific, respected, and best-selling authors in Victorian England. Men no longer dominated the market. But while both sexes were writing in great numbers, were they writing with the same vocabularies? “His and Hers Inkwells: 1500” represents Victorian Eyes’s initial foray into this question. The sample corpus was small and will need to be expanded for more definitive results, but even in this early stage, the results are intriguing. The list of words that only appear in the male corpus largely deal with war and employment, whereas the words in the female corpus tend to be related to religion and dialect.   


Statistics Perspective (Fred Boehm):

Our process:

1. We created full vocabulary lists from the following works by female authors: Gaskell Wives and Daughter1866 Gaskell Sylvias Lovers1863, Gaskell Ruth1853, Gaskell North and South 1855, Gaskell Mary Barton 1849, Eliot Scenes of Clerical Life 1858, Eliot Romola 1863, Eliot Millon the Floss 1860, Eliot Middlemarch 1874, Eliot Felix Holt 1866, Eliot Daniel Deronda 1876, Eliot Adam Bede 1859, Bronte Emily Wuthering Heights 1847, Bronte ,Charlotte Villette 1853, Bronte, Charlotte The Professor 1857, Bronte, Charlotte Shirley 1849, Bronte, Charlotte Jane Eyre 1847, Bronte, Anne The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall 1848, Bronte, Anne Agnes Grey 1847, Braddon Lady Audley's Secret1862.

2. and from the following novels authored by men: Trollope The Small House At Allington 1864, Trollope Framley Parsonage 1861, Trollope Doctor Thorne 1858, Trollope Can You Forgive Her 1864, Thackeray Vanity Fair 1848, Thackeray The Virginians 1858, Thackeray The Newcomes 1854, Thackeray The History Of Pendennis 1849, Hardy The Return Of The Native 1878, Hardy Far From The Madding Crowd 1874, Hardy A Pair Of Blue Eyes 1873, Dickens The Personal History Of David Copperfield 1850, Dickens Our Mutual Friend 1865, Dickens Little Dorrit 1857, Dickens Great Expectations 1861, Dickens Bleak House 1853, Dickens A Tale of Two Cities 1859, Collins The Woman In White 1860, Collins The Moonstone 1868, Collins No Name 1862

3. We then ran the lists through R with the following code: mutual exclusion

4. and stripped proper names and articles, function words, etc. with Matthew Jocker's stop list: expanded stop list

5. A significant portion of the top frequency unique words came from slang words used in dialogue, we made a decision to exclude these words

6. since the entire list would not fit on our replica victorian 3D printed inkwells, we ran each list as a "restrict to" list for its correlating group of novels and gathered info on the highest frequencies


Exclusive Male Vocabulary (by highest frequency) available here.

Exclusive Female Vocabulary (highest frequency) available here.

Detail image:
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