Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: January 2009

New Author Entries

  • Elizabeth Melvill (perhaps 1575 to 1640), Scottish poet whose Ane Godlie Dream, 1603, went through more editions than any other work by a British woman before 1640.
  • Sarah Savage, 1664-1752.Religious diarist who writes frankly about her longing for, bearing, and losing children.
  • Susan Smythies, 1721- after 1774. Author of three novels published during the 1750s, blending sentiment with social satire.
  • Cassandra Cooke, 1744-1826. Author a single historical novel as well as unpublished papers in prose and verse. A cousin of Jane Austen.
  • Elizabeth Gilding, before 1755 to after 1785. Magazine poet of the spiritual, erotic, maternal, and sentimental.
  • Cassandra, Lady Hawke, 1746-1813. Author of one highly sentimental published novel. Lady Hawke was another cousin of Jane Austen.
  • Judith Sargent Murray, 1751-1820. American periodical essayist, feminist (a precursor of Mary Wollstonecraft), dramatist, and author of a sentimental novel.
  • Sarah Wentworth Morton. 1759-1846. American poet of national identity and relations between the races.
  • Anne Evans, 1820-70. Writer of poems, songs, and dance music.
  • Emily Lawless, 1835-1913. Irish novelist, historian, and miscellaneous writer, of interest for her relation to nationalist, feminist, and environmentalist ideas.
  • Charlotte Mary Brame, 1836-84. Victorian popular novelist or "dime" novelist whose most-used pseudonym became a "brand" which long outlived her.
  • Lucy Toulmin Smith, 1838-1911. Pioneering literary and historical scholar, editor and translator.
  • Lady Charlotte Elliot, 1839-80. Obscure Scottish poet whose three volumes make frequent use of women's voices in dramatic monologues, often mythological.
  • Blanche Warre Cornish, 1847-1922. Author of two novels and of family and literary memoirs. A conversationalist whose sayings were posthumously collected and published.
  • May Laffan, 1849-1916. Irish novelist and miscellaneous writer, remembered for her campaign against convent education for girls.
  • Laurence Hope, 1865-1904. Author of transgressive erotic poems in a colonial setting.
  • Marie Belloc Lowndes, 1868-1947. Biographer, novelist, and memoirist, best-known for her thriller The Lodger, and for memoirs of her French and English family and of the London (and Paris) literary scene.
  • Constance Lytton, 1869-1923. Suffragist whose slender output as a writer is dominated by her experiences of being forcibly fed in prison - but only when she concealed her social status.
  • Henry Handel Richardson, 1870-1946. Australian expatriate novelist whose work is influenced more by the European than the English tradition, little noticed until her penultimate novel was hailed as a work of genius.
  • Willa Cather, 1873-1947. American novelist of the midwestern pioneers, of the struggle of provincial artists to make good, and of missionaries in colonial Spanish and French America.
  • Mary Gawthorpe, 1881-1973. Working-class suffragist, speaker, pamphleteer, co-editor of The Freewoman, and memoirist or suffrage historian.
  • Christina Stead, 1902-83. Australian expatriate novelist who passed from unknown to great-writer status, then back to unknown again, whose hardline Communist politics told against her recognition.
  • Cecily Mackworth, 1911-2006. Journalist and travel writer, chronicler of countries and societies in violent upheaval, as well as novelist and memoirist. An autobiography is not yet published.
  • Alison Fell, born 1944. Working-class Scotswoman active in London feminist theatre groups of the 1970s, poet, novelist, dramatist, author of an erotic pseudo-translation from Heian Japanese.
  • Zoë Fairbairns, born 1948. Feminist writer whose work spans many genres, particularly novels and short stories.

Entries Enhanced

These are a tiny proportion of all the entries revised (131 in total). Run-of-the-mill additions (new editions, new scholarship, sale prices, film versions, etc.) are not listed here.
  • Rhoda Broughton, Bessie Rayner Parkes (and others): Detail added through work on the highly sociable Marie Belloc Lowndes.
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Mention of Strange Music, a new novel by Black British writer Laura Fish, which juxtaposes part of the poet's life with those of two women on her family's Jamaican estate.
  • Dorothea Primrose Campbell: New information from the memoirs of the Rev. Adam Clarke, who met DPC on a preaching tour of the Shetlands and whose son's family later, disastrously, invited her south to England.
  • Harriet Corp: Coverage of her earliest book (first now firmly identified as such), Interesting Conversations, 1805, of which her authorship has not until now been clear.
  • Shelagh Delaney: Comments on getting A Taste of Honey past the censors at the Lord Chamberlain's office, from the British Library exhibition The Golden Generation, British Theatre 1945-1968.
  • Carol Ann Duffy: One of her poems was banned from schools as allegedly an incitement to crime: Duffy retaliated with a poem about crime in Shakespeare.
  • Eliza Fenwick: Further information emerging about her later life in the USA and Canada.
  • Sarah Fielding: A new attribution has been put forward.
  • Anne Finch: Mention of the exciting possibility that she wrote the libretto for John Blow's Venus and Adonis, billed as "the first English opera".
  • Frances Ridley Havergal: Mention of a unique copy of a previously unknown tiny book from the 1890s, putting her verses together with biblical texts and flower pictures for each day of the week.
  • Eliza Haywood: Expansion and complication of the entry from more extended use of Patrick Spedding's exhaustive bibliography.
  • P. D. James: Her latest novel has drawn a special kind of comment because of her age: eighty-eight.
  • Bryony Lavery: Her stage adaptation of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber.
  • Doris Lessing: Account of her Nobel Prize speech.
  • L. M. Montgomery: Her grand-daughter's revelation that depression led her to suicide.
  • E. Nesbit: Mention of a tiny, undated, illustrated book-cum-greeting-card published by Raphael Tuck, undated, containing a poem by her.
  • George Orwell: The annual Orwell Prize, and the posting of his second world war diaries as a blog.
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker: Additions on both her extraordinary parents, and her father's death.

Other Additions

40 contextual events were updated or enhanced.
84 new free-standing contextual events on such matters as:
  • the first recorded instance of a coffee house building a library of books for the enjoyment of its patrons
  • the manuscript book of poetry and prose written by the seventeenth-century Dorothy Calthorpe
  • the licensing of Anne Smythies in 1743 to cure the "king's evil"
  • the earliest-known Australian imprint (a playbill, 1796)
  • the bill that outlawed the use of climbing children in chimney-sweeping, 1840
  • the first recorded pictorial Christmas card, 1843
  • the appointment of the first professional nurse to work in industry, 1878
  • the International Congress of Women, 1899
  • several events dealing with the suffrage struggle
  • the first award of the Hawthornden Prize for literature, 1919
  • the introduction of the long-playing record, 1948
  • the devaluation of the pound sterling, 1967
  • several events dealing with the 2008 financial crisis
  • the election of Barack Obama as the first-ever black president of the United States

Summary of Content

25 entries (20 British women writers, 5 other women writers); 84 free-standing chronology entries; 563 new bibliographical listings; 59,764 new tags; 836,630 words (exclusive of tags).
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