Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: January 2010

New Author Entries

  • Ann Fisher, 1719-78, grammarian (uniquely for a woman at this date) and educational writer.
  • Margaret Holford the elder, ?1757-1834, novelist and playwright: mother of a poet of the same name, one of whose works is still often wrongly ascribed to her.
  • Margaret Holford the younger, (later Holford), 1778-1852, poet whose first romance narrative gave her a fame not equalled by her later poetry, fiction, or play, or her earlier Oriental tale, despite her tireless efforts to further her career.
  • Ada Cambridge, 1844-1926, English-Australian poet, novelist, and autobiographer. One of Australia's earliest poets, and a significant chronicler of colonial Australia.
  • Lucy Walford, 1845-1915, novelist and short-story writer, Scottish but settled in London, creator of feisty heroines who are typically tamed by experience.
  • Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936, short-story writer, poet, children's writer, and journalist who also produced novels, political writing, and an autobiography. Chiefly known, to the detriment of his once immense popularity, as the depictor of British India.
  • Roma White, 1866-1930 (real name Blanche Oram, later Winder), popular novelist who often sets her stories in the theatre world or in exotic distant countries.
  • Arnold Bennett, 1867-1931, literary and popular novelist and miscellaneous writer. Remembered as a leader of the school of realist fiction, especially for his works set in the Potteries of Staffordshire.
  • Ruby M. Ayres, 1883-1955. Popular romantic novelist whose phenomenal sales (of at least 150 novels written at a rate of up to 20,000 words a day) continued with new reprints in the late twentieth century.
  • Gladys Henrietta Schütze, 1884-1946, novelist and miscellaneous writer whose almost total oblivion must surely be due to the foreign name which harrassed her in her lifetime and inspired her most famous work, Mrs. Fischer's War, 1930.
  • Hélène Barcynska, 1886-1964. Popular novelist who turned to autobiography and memoir after her exceptional output and popularity began to decline as tastes changed.

Entries Enhanced

Entries enhanced (not listed here are the entries, among them those on Anna Letitia Barbauld, Catherine Carswell, Elizabeth Heyrick, Muriel Spark, Elizabeth Taylor, Susannah Watts, which have been transformed by use of recent biographies): Run-of-the-mill additions (new editions, new scholarship, sale prices, film versions, etc.) are not listed here.
  • Margaret Atwood: not only her latest novel but her up-to-the-minute publicizing of it.
  • E. M. Delafield: the baffled reception of her hit comedy To See Ourselves in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • Lucie Duff Gordon: the publication (and cutting-edge marketing) of a novel which is based on her travel experiences but which paints an unfriendly picture of her, Kate Pullinger's The Mistress of Nothing, July 2009.
  • Carol Ann Duffy: some of her activities as Poet Laureate.
  • Maria Edgeworthand Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck: the appearance in the sale room of the latter's copy of the former's Castle Rackrent.
  • Celia Fiennes: entry revised in light of research by Frank Parker: contrary to standard sources, she was younger than her one surviving sister.
  • Sarah Stickney Ellis: a previously unknown broadside printing of her poem to raise money for a new chapel in Hoddesdon, 1846.
  • Samuel Johnson: research by John Stone shows that the first translator of Rasselas into Spanish was Inés Joyes y Blake, a feminist who used her version as the vehicle with which to publish a Wollstonecraft-type essay on women's status.
  • Elinor Mordaunt: some notice of Times Literary Suplement reviews by the young Virginia Woolf.
  • Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan: something on her important Athenæum reviewing.
  • Sylvia Pankhurst: more on her writing and paintings on Women Workers of England and on the website SylviaPankhurst.com.
  • Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck: previously unknown letters revealing her friendships with Margaret Holford, senior, and with the scientist John Murray (and more of her involvement with amateur science).
  • Menella Bute Smedley: her birthdate has been corrected (all standard sources have confused her with an elder sister who died); her godfather was the brother of writer Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins. An inheritance of five thousand pounds in 1855 must have changed her life. Thanks to Tom Bellas for new information here.
  • Githa Sowerby: the discovery of a last play, later than any known before. (This information from Patricia Riley's biography, 2009, which will be more extensively used in the next Orlando update.)
  • Violet Trefusis: the fascination of Michael Holroyd with her novel Echo.
  • Alice Thornton: the re-emergence of two volumes of her "lost" and their purchase by the British Library at the Peyraud sale (which also enabled additions about other writers, 1760-1820).

Other Additions

65 contextual events were updated or enhanced. Some track the ongoing revisions in public knowledge of history. Orlando's record of the historic US Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which made anti-abortion laws illegal in the USA, was amended to take note of the gradual modification and watering-down of this decision - and of the fact that Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of this decision, was converted during the 1990s from the pro-choice to the anti-abortion campaign.
92 newly added contextual events include such recent headlines as the near-collapse of the British banking system, and the sale in New York of the Peyraud collection (the world's largest private antiquarian book collection, in which writings by British women predominated). They include, too, important material previously missed, like Lady Isabella King's little-known experiment in women's community living, launched in 1816, inspired by Sarah Scott's novel Millenium Hall.
Homepage: minor changes to the entry points are designed to make the system more user-friendly.

Summary of Content

11 entries (9 British women writers, 1 other woman writer—listed twice if their nationality shifted—and 2 male writers); 92 free-standing chronology entries; 376 new bibliographical listings; 32,083 new tags; 703,803 new words (exclusive of tags).
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