Orlando: Women's Writing
Title of Contents

Writers with Entries

New: July 2016

New Author Entries

  • Anne Francis, 1738-1800: scholar and poet. Her work engages with the Bible and with classical and modern European texts, theories of translation, and late in life with reformist politics, which she opposed.
  • Dorothea Celesia, 1738-1790: poet and playwright. From Genoa, where she lived with her Genoese husband, she persuaded David Garrick to put on her tragedy based on Voltaire, and after its success she published a long poem.
  • Frances Arabella Rowden, 1774-1840. A professional school-teacher in London, then in Paris, she educated a startling number of women writers from Mary Russell Mitford through Lady Caroline Lamb to Fanny Kemble. Her four books are mostly pedagogical, teaching botany, mythology, and literary history.
  • Catherine Maria Grey, 1798-1870, highly popular and successful novelist in didactic and silver-fork modes, whose works have in the past been almost inextricably confused with those of Maria Grey, James Malcolm Rymer (below), and the non-existent "Elizabeth Caroline Grey."
  • Barbarina Brand, Baroness Dacre, 1768-1854: another poet, amateur dramatist (more tragedy than comedy), writer of literary and domestic letters, and editor of novels by her daughter.
  • Mary Carpenter, 1807-77, devoted campaigner for improving the lives of the poor, who published prolifically in support of her philanthropy: of ragged schools, feeding schools, reformatory schools, prison reform, and women's education in India.
  • James Malcolm Rymer, 1814-84, author of penny dreadfuls, true-crime novels, and gothic horror, whose oeuvre has only recently been disentangled from those of Catherine Maria Grey (above), Maria Grey, and the invented "Elizabeth Caroline Grey."
  • Hannah Lynch, 1859-1904, Irish journalist, novelist, editor, translator, travel-writer, and mediator between French and English cultures. She is remembered for her controversial novel-or-memoir Autobiography of a Child (book publication 1899) and for keeping the Land League's paper, United Ireland, alive after its suppression by taking the type to Paris.
  • Pearl S. Buck, 1892-1973: American bestselling writer raised in China, who as a child thought herself Chinese. She was the first to write in any language of the courage and endurance of dirt-poor Chinese peasants. For only her second book (out of almost two hundred) she won the Nobel prize (first US woman to do so). Her books support progressive causes, and for years she was deemed suspect in the USA as a Communist, while banned in Communist China for showing the country in an unflattering light.
  • Teresa Deevy, 1894-1963: Irish playwright. Though handicapped by profound deafness, she had a play at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1930, and a great hit there (her fifth play), 1936. Then plays were turned down in 1939 and 1942, apparently because of her interest in cramped and rural-Irish, female lives. The rest of her career was in radio drama.
  • Sue Townsend, 1946-2014, working-class comic writer: playwright, dramatist, social critic. She became a household name with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, 1982, and its sequels.
With this update Orlando mourns novelist and art historian Anita Brookner, and novelist, biographer, and historian Margaret Forster, who have both died since our last update. Like Ruth Rendell, Forster left a completed title, How to Measure a Cow, which emerged just a month after her death.