Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: July 2012

New Author Entries

  • Susanna Hopton, 1627-1709, theological and devotional writer whose canon is still not clearly established. She was much concerned to adapt what she saw as the best of Roman Catholic devotional practices to serve the needs of the Anglican church.
  • Marie-Catherine de Villedieu, 1640?-1683, French writer who launched her high-profile career as Marie-Catherine Desjardins, then took the name of the lover who refused to marry her. A generic virtuoso, she was important in the history of the novel and was the first Frenchwoman to have a play professionally produced.
  • Henrietta Rouviere Mosse, d. 1835, London novelist of Irish origin who began writing for pleasure and continued as the sole support of her husband, who was totally incapacitated by strokes. Her appeals to the Royal Literary Fund make painful reading.
  • Caroline Frances Cornwallis, 1786-1858, scholar and translator, who published in journals and in her collaborative series, Short Books on Great Subjects, in the fields of science, history, philosophy, education, social critique, and women's rights.
  • Rebecca Harding Davis, 1831-1910, American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer who despite her own comfortable background made herself a voice for the industrial proletariat, male as well as female.
  • Mary Fortune ("Waif Wander"), 1833?-?1910, Australian journalist whose tough, survivor's life is still very obscure, melodramatic chronicler in fiction of the goldfields and the Australian police.
  • Edna Lyall, 1857-1903, popular writer of fiction (often historical romance), as well as a play and a childhood autobiography. Her novels take up the causes of Ireland, or the Armenians, or prejudice against the Other; several hold up for admiration foreigners, or socio-political activists, or non-Christians.
  • Edna St Vincent Millay, 1892-1950, American poet who is remembered (and often mocked) for her passionate love poetry. Her drama, her feminism, her life-writings, and politically committed writing (especially anti-war writing) have still not received critical justice.
  • Harold Pinter, 1930-2008, poet and playwright, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, husband of Antonia Fraser.
  • Alice Walker, b. 1944, African-American writer in many genres -- poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and journalist – whose writings are famous across the world as passionate anti-racist and anti-war polemics. She is best known for her novel The Color Purple.

Entries Enhanced

There has been the usual crop of splendid new writings demanding comment, like Helen Dunmore's The Greatcoat, Nadine Gordimer's No Time Like the Present, Jackie Kay's Reality, Reality, Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, Toni Morrison's Home, Ruth Padel's The Mara Crossing, Michele Roberts's Ignorance, Marina Warner's Stranger Magic. There has been, alas, the death of Adrienne Rich. New (or newly used) scholarly publications have added valuable additions or revisions. So has journalism, for instance the Guardian's delightful "My Hero" series. New entries (like that on Caroline Frances Cornwallis) have resulted in new detail being added to existing entries.
  • Elizabeth von Arnim 's Elizabeth and Her German Garden was featured as a love-gift in the popular tv series Downton Abbey.
  • Jane Austen again required updating, with new material from the ongoing struggle to identify visual representations of her and from Kathryn Sutherland's research in the John Murray archive (not to mention Deirdre Le Faye's new edition of her letters and DeeDee Baldwin's clever re-writing of Pride and Prejudice as a Facebook news feed).
  • Margaret Atwood too has remained similarly newsworthy, publishing another speculative fiction, I'm Starving for You, not in print but solely as an e-book.
  • Anna Letitia Barbauld achieved further recognition with a two-day conference on her writing at Chawton House Library, which mustered an unusual level of scholarly innovation and enthusiasm.
  • Charlotte Bronte made news with the appearance before the public of her devoir or French homework "L''Ingratitude", a chilling little fable of filial disobedience and crushing punishment, done for her charismatic teacher M. Heger.
  • Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureate had the assignment of editing Jubilee Line: 60 Poets for 60 Years.
  • Eliza Fenwick had more light thrown on her life in Barbados and North America, through the continuing research of Lissa Paul.
  • Sarah Green: her supposed first novel, Charles Henley, or the Fugitive Restored, turns out to have a more likely claimant named Mary O'Brien, who also published a poem and a comedy, both political in tone. This is not a very fruitful discovery, since no copy of the novel is known to survive.
  • Fanny Aikin Kortright. The Orlando entry already noted that her anti-suffrage pamphlet Pro Aris et Focis had been wrongly attributed to Rebecca Harding Davis. The entry now pinpoints the cause: each writer had published a novel entitled Waiting for the Verdict.
  • Mary Robinson. The entry now takes account of various recent research publications.
  • J. K. Rowling retained media attention with nuggets of information about her forthcoming first adult novel and the first academic conference devoted to the Harry Potter books.
  • Mary Shelley (another regular on this list) has now acquired an iPhone/iPad app for Frankenstein. Admirers of the novel as she wrote it are unlikely to be pleased. Also added is John Murray's rejection of Frankenstein the year before its appearance from Lackington.
  • (Margaret) Emily Shore: further works by this precocious and short-lived genius continue to emerge into public consciousness.
  • Queen Victoria's journals in the Royal Archives have been posted on the web in their entirety to mark her successor's diamond jubilee.

Free-standing events

28 new free-standing events were added to the textbase.

Summary of Content

10 entries (5 British women writers, 5 other women writers—listed twice if their nationality shifted—, and 1 male writer); 28 new free-standing chronology entries; 403 new bibliographical listings; 89,900 new tags; 132,567 new words (exclusive of tags).
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