Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: July 2017

New Author Entries

  • Grace, Lady Mildmay, c. 1552-1620. She left (and apparently intended for publication) a mass of medical writings, as well as religious meditations and an accompanying autobiography.
  • Grisell Murray, 1692-1759. Each of her parents had behaved heroically in the painful Covenanting period of Scottish history before she was born. She marked the death of each with a memoir, relating their lives with loving admiration.
  • Radagunda Roberts, c. 1730-1788, author of translations from French (including Françoise de Graffigny's Peruvian Letters), and of stories, poems — and a volume of sermons.
  • Eliza Dunlop, 1796-1880. A published poet before emigrating to Australia, she aroused controversy and condemnation as a settler for poems expressing sympathy for the persecuted Aborigines and their threatened culture. She also translated Aboriginal songs.
  • Mary Angela Dickens, 1862-1948. She adapted books by her famous grandfather Charles Dickens, and published her own novels, short stories, journalism, memoir, and religious works.
  • Mary McCarthy, 1912-89, US author in many genres (including political analysis and art and travel books), best remembered for her novels (especially The Group, 1963, about young women graduates in New York) and account of her early years.
  • Mavis Gallant, 1922-2014, Canadian writer who lived her adult life abroad, mostly in Paris. Her body of work consists largely of short stories. She left still largely unpublished journals.
  • Winsome Pinnock, b. 1961. Black British playwright, whose socially conscious work deals with matters of race and displacement, violence of many kinds, and relations between women of different races and generations.
  • Ali Smith, b. 1962. Scottish writer whose novels and short fiction are funny, iconoclastic, and cerebral, with a playful approach to literary allusion, wordplay, and unstable gender identities.
  • Naomi Alderman, b. 1974: critically acclaimed for novels (set in twentieth-century Jewish London, academic Oxford, Roman-ruled Palestine, and a future where women wield unprecedented power) and known in the digital world as creator of Zombies Run! and Perplex City.
  • Orlando grieves for Helen Dunmore, who died on 5 June 2017.

New Publications

A. S. Byatt, Peacock and Vine. Morris and Fortuny in Life and at Work; Helene Cixous, Politics, Ethics, and Performance; Nancy Cunard (posthumous), Selected Poems; Maureen Duffy, Past Present, Piers Plowless and Sir Orfeo; Helen Dunmore, in the year of her death, both Inside the Wave and Birdcage Walk; Elaine Feinstein, The Clinic, Memory; Antonia Fraser, Our Israeli Diary; Selima Hill, Splash like Jesus; Susan Hill, From the Heart; P. D. James (posthumous), The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories; Penelope Lively, The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories; Grace Nichols, The Insomnia Poems; Penelope Shuttle, Will you Walk a little Faster?; Charlotte Smith, Major Poetic Works (Broadview); Gertrude Stein, the recently rediscovered "Let Us Save China"; Anne Stevenson, both In the Orchard: Poems with Birds, and About Poems and how poems are not about; Joanna Trollope, City of Friends; Fay Weldon, Death of a She Devil; Jeanette Winterson, Christmas Days. 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. (Other new books, like Megan Marshall's biography of Elizabeth Bishop, and Cristanne Miller's edition Emily Dickinson's Poems As She Preserved Them, are merely noted).

Entries Enhanced

Anna Atkins: mention of "New Realities", major exhibition at the Riksmuseum in Amsterdam, summer 2017, centred on a copy of her masterpiece, Photographs of British Algae. Cyanotype Impressions, 1843.
Margaret Atwood: added insights (on topics like The All-Star Eclectic Typewriter Revue, and "Regional Romances; or, Across Canada by Pornograph") from The Burgess Shale, the printed version of her Henry Kreisel Lecture of 2016. Also on The Handmaid's Tale at the present historical moment.
Beryl Bainbridge: Brendan King's biography, which presents her life "openly and honestly for the first time", has yielded much that was not generally known. Her many lovers, her suicide attempts, her drinking, are not quite irrelevant; they illuminate the mysterious interdependence of life and writing.
Maria Barrell: Thanks to Andrew Ashfield her extraordinary life-story has been fleshed out: first marriage in Grenada, slave-owning, second marriage, the workhouse, and repeated prison terms for passing counterfeit money.
Enid Blyton: added a mention of Bruno Vincent's spoof series, Five Give up the Booze, Five on Brexit Island, etc.
Anna Eliza Bray: added mention of Diane Duffy's notion that Bray envisaged a national tale for England, to match those of Ireland and Scotland.
Angela Carter: mention of Emily Temple's website of startling "fan art": visual responses to Carter.
Margaret Catchpole: further information turned up in course of working on Eliza Dunlop.
Elizabeth Cooper, dramatist and pioneer of the historically-arranged poetry anthology: we just learned that a poetry volume of 1629, with her annotations, was on sale in 2015 at $11,500.
Agatha Christie: the BBC tv revival, at Christmas 2016, of Witness for the Prosecution.
Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureate collaborated with the people of the United Kingdom to produce the astonishing theatrical statement "My Country; a work in progress", which toured England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales in spring 2017.
George Eliot: the emergence of a pastel sketch which may represent her as a young woman.
Ethel Smyth: Retrospect Opera, who already put out a recording of The Boatswain's Mate, 1916, is now fund-raising to record her Fete Galante, 1922.
Mary Somerville: notice of her remarkable productions as a visual artist.
Helen Taylor: added her gift of J. S. Mill's English library, after his death, to the newly founded Somerville College, Oxford.
Josephine Tey: much new information about the life which she kept so private, from Jennifer Morag Henderson's biography.
Joanna Trollope: added her somewhat unedifying spat with J. K. Rowling about the latter's energetic tweeting of opinions on world politics.
Edith Wharton: the re-emergence of her lost play, "The Shadow of a Doubt", 1901.
Jeanette Winterson: mention of Oxford University's commissioning of her portrait as one of a new turn towards representing diversity.
Mary Wollstonecraft: mention of the novels by Nancy Means Wright in which she is a series detective.

Free-standing events

Thirty newly-added events run from 1358 (concerning Katherine Sutton, Abbess of Barking, who was arguably a liturgical dramatist) to this year (the Women's Marches which greeted the election of US President Donald Trump). Topics include the Free-Masons' Magazine, the Crimean War, the Women's Royal Air Force (later the Women's Auxiliary Air Force), and sociological studies following a cohort of the British populations born at various selected dates.

Summary of Content

10 entries (5 British women writers, 5 other women writer); 27 new free-standing chronology entries; 412 new bibliographical listings; 25,088 new tags; 92,918 new words (exclusive of tags).
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