Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: July 2010

New Author Entries

  • Elizabeth Oxenbridge, Lady Tyrwhit, c. 1510-78, early Protestant compiler of a book of private prayers (including hymns, prayers, and metrical psalms), some perhaps of her own writing.
  • Elizabeth Postuma Simcoe, 1762-1850, diarist and letter-writer whose place in history is owed to her meticulously sketched and vividly described accounts of the colony of Upper Canada.
  • Emily Frederick Clark, probably before 1780 - after 1833, novelist, painter, poet, and claimant of foreign royal descent, who wrote to support her mother and sisters. The single most persistent petitioner of the Royal Literary Fund.
  • Emma Frances Brooke, 1844-1926, significant socialist-feminist, undeservedly forgotten or remembered only for her novel A Superfluous Woman, 1894. Her other novels and non-fiction express fiercely unconventional views on questions of politics, religion, and society.
  • Henrietta Müller, 1846-1906, journalist and speaker committed to the cause of women, founder of The Women's Penny Paper.
  • John Millington Synge, 1871-1909, playwright of the Irish literary renaissance, author of an influential book about the harsh life and rich folk culture of the Aran Islands.
  • Graham Greene, 1904-91, novelist and thriller-writer, specializing in self-destructive lives in exotic locations which are sometimes lumped together under the name of 'Greeneland'.
  • Margaret Laurence, 1926-87, Canadian novelist and short-story writer. Her translations of Somali poetry were the first to appear in English.
  • Alice Munro, b. 1931, Canadian short-story writer who has been hailed as a leading practitioner of her genre.
  • Carol Shields, b. 1935, US-born Canadian novelist, connoisseur of the ordinary, who also wrote poems and plays.
  • Judith Kazantzis, b. 1940, poet and artist, activist feminist, literary fighter against war, nuclear war, discrimination, and poverty.
  • J. K. Rowling, b. 1965, writer for children whose Harry Potter series has made her one of the most successful writers and one of the richest women of her generation.

Entries Enhanced

334 existing author entries were updated or enhanced. There has been the usual revision in the light of new editions, biographies, etc. Even newspaper items have offered new sidelights, like a report in which a son of Naomi Mitchison, a distinguished researcher in the field of drugs against tuberculosis, featured as the oldest professor in Britain, still at work at ninety. Though there has not been time to take fully into account Jackie Kay's memoir Red Dust Road (June 2010), it has been used through excerpts in the press. The most extraordinary updating is probably a belated one: the unnoticed death of Edith Templeton in 2006. Here are one or two highlights.
  • Jane Austen. In the news as ever, this time not for zombies but for the first digital edition of her literary manuscripts.
  • Simone de Beauvoir. The appearance of the long-awaited new translation of The Second Sex, its repudiation as wholly inadequate by Toril Moi, and the resulting critical controversy.
  • Agatha Christie. She too remains in the news, this time through the discovery of lost jewels which were probably her mother's.
  • Mary Delany. The major exhibition of her art works at Sir John Soane's Museum, London.
  • Elizabeth Gilding. A death-date and other details yielded by her husband's funeral sermon on her.
  • Jane Harvey. Information about her father courtesy of Jim Hepburn's research. More to follow.
  • Elizabeth Hervey. Helena Kelly, editor of her novel Ned Evans, has revealed her brief marriage as a teenager to the confusingly-named Alexander Harvie (a crony of her stepfather's) and her time as mistress of the Della Crusca poet Robert Merry, as well as a level unremarked allusion in the novel to actual personalities of the Irish nationalist movement.
  • Florence Nightingale. As the centenary of her death, 2010 has been designated International Year of the Nurse.
  • Edith Templeton. Her death in 2006, belatedly discovered by Orlando, went virtually unreported in the English-speaking press, though she had been (repeatedly since the 1950s and into her own nineties) hailed as one of the most interesting novelists writing in English.
  • Elizabeth Pipe Wolferstan. Research by John Goss has uncovered a novel she issued anonymously in 1796, before her marriage. (She is known, if at all, for her delightful poetry.) Goss's forthcoming edition has much new information from her husband's diary.

Free-standing events

63 existing freestanding events were also updated or enhanced. Additions here run from the death on 7 March 203 AD of Perpetua, the Christian martyr who authored the earliest extant text in Latin by a woman, to the British general election of 6 May 2010 (with the coverage or non-coverage of women during the campaign) and the days of uncertainty that followed before the establishment of a coalition government. The Women's History Network Blog for March 2010 (Women's History Week) provided some interesting new events as well as nuggets to add to entries.

Summary of Content

12 entries (7 British women writers, 2 male writers, 4 other women writers—listed twice if their nationality shifted); 74 free-standing chronology entries; 723 new bibliographical listings; 40,287 new tags; 156,913 new words (exclusive of tags).
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