Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: July 2009

New Author Entries

  • Elizabeth Walker, 1623-90. Miscellaneous religious writer and memoirist.
  • Elizabeth Burnet, 1661-1709. Diarist, letter-writer, Latitudinarian devotional writer and political lobbyist.
  • Sarah, Lady Piers, 1667 or after - 1719. Poet writing on theatrical and political topics.
  • Elisabeth Wast, before 1670 - before 1724. Scottish religious autobiographer. Standard reference sources give her name as 'West' and misreport by forty years the date of her single, highly influential, text.
  • Elizabeth Justice, 1703-52. Author of two unusual works, a travel-book about Russia and an autobiographical novel.
  • Mary Palmer, 1716-94. Author of dialogues in the Devon dialect.
  • Frances Reynolds, 1729-1807. Writer of aesthetic theory, memoirs, and poems.
  • Elizabeth Hervey, c. 1748-1820. Novelist, often wrongly supposed to be the central target of burlesques by her half-brother William Beckford of popular women's fiction.
  • Caroline Herschel, 1750-1848. Celebrated astronomer; also science writer, diarist and memoirist.
  • Maria Riddell, 1772-1802. Scottish poet, travel-writer, anthologist, friend and first published critic of Robert Burns.
  • Ann Hawkshaw, ?1812-1885. Writer of historical poems set in periods of heroic struggle.
  • Laura Ormiston Chant, 1848-1923, poet and writer about the social purity crusade and other gender concerns.
  • L. S. Bevington, 1845-95. Poet and anarchist-communist activist. Her poetry is comparatively well known, her political writing neglected.
  • Harriett Jay, 1857-1932. Author of popular political novels about conditions in Ireland, and dramatist in collaboration with her better-remembered stepfather, Robert Buchanan.
  • Rosita Forbes, 1890-1967. Travel-writer whose books about Arab, South American and Caribbean places often merge with memoir, biography, and political writing.
  • Aldous Huxley, 1894-1963, male novelist, poet, and non-fiction writer best-known for his speculative dystopian fiction Brave New World.
  • Dylan Thomas, 1914-53. Male Welsh poet who also published essays, short stories, and a famous radio dramatic piece, Under Milk Wood.
  • Monica Furlong, 1930-2003. Feminist churchwoman, theologian, and fiction writer, activist in the struggle for the ordination of women in the Anglican church.
  • Luce Irigaray, born 1930, important French feminist theorist and proponent of écriture feminine.
  • Ruth Fainlight, born 1931. Belatedly recognized poet, translator, short-story writer, a personal friend of Robert Graves, Ted Hughes, and especially Sylvia Plath.
  • Hélène Cixous, born 1937. One of the key French feminist theorists; author too of fiction, drama, poetry, and memoirs.
  • Ruth Padel, born 1946. Poet, classical scholar and critic, anthologist and environmental writer: recently, briefly, the first female Professor of Poetry at Oxford University.
  • Penelope Shuttle, born 1947. Poet of the female body; also author, with her poet partner Peter Redgrove, of experimental fiction and of The Wise Wound, a study of menstruation.
  • Louise Page, born 1955. Dramatist of closely-observed human relationships.
  • Sarah Daniels, born 1956. Radical feminist playwright and radio dramatist. The first living woman to have a play performed at the National Theatre.

Entries Enhanced

Listed below are a tiny proportion of all the entries revised. Run-of-the-mill additions (new editions, new scholarship, sale prices, film versions, etc.) are not listed here.
  • Jane Austen: more on her siblings and on the extraordinary Austen spin-off industry.
  • Anita Brookner: not only her new novel, Strangers, but journalist Mark Lawson's unusual recantation of his former Brookner-phobia.
  • Agatha Christie: recent manuscript discoveries, and results of research into the decline of her literary vocabulary in old age, suggesting conclusions about her health (probable Alzheimer's) and the processes of composition.
  • Caryl Churchill: the furore around her controversial new play, Seven Jewish Children.
  • Anne Conway: a work by her offered for sale at four thousand eight hundred pounds.
  • Carol Ann Duffy: selection as first British woman poet laureate; another furore around her first poem in that position, "Politics".
  • U. A. Fanthorpe: at the time of her death she was being backed for the laureateship by Duffy, the successful candidate.
  • Marie Madeleine de Lafayette: the extraordinary career of La Princesse de Cléves as a symbol of resistance to French university cuts, precipitated by snide comments on the novel from President Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • Eliza Lynn Linton: a letter offered for sale in which she thanks "Mark Rutherford" for his good opinion of her controversial novel Joshua Davidson.
  • Sylvia Plath: more on her relationship with Ruth Fainlight; her son's suicide.
  • Anne Stevenson: more on her contact with Ted Hughes over her life of Sylvia Plath.
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner: now quoted, a late, irresistible passage from Lolly Willowes.

Other Additions

60 contextual events were updated or enhanced.
87 new free-standing contextual events on topics connected with new author entries, from seventeenth-century Scottish religion and politics, through the nineteenth-century anarchist movement, to the twentieth-century campaign for women's ordination. Others relate to printing and publishing, changing views on women's nature and status, publications by writers of both sexes who do not for the moment rate a whole entry, and other aspects of politics, literature, and cultural change.

Summary of Content

25 entries (21 British women writers, 4 other women writers—listed twice if their nationality shifted—and 2 male writers); 87 free-standing chronology entries; 624 bibliographical listings; 51,775 tags; 197,856 new words (exclusive of tags).
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