Orlando: Women's Writing

Writers with Entries

New: January 2014

New Author Entries

  • Anne Thérèse de Lambert, 1647-1733: French writer of conduct books and comment on the status of women, highly influential in England.
  • Mary Caesar, 1677-1741: in beautiful handwriting but atrocious spelling, she kept for more than twenty years an extraordinary journal of her own and her husband' intense involvement in the Jacobite cause, something between a political memoir and a commonplace-book.
  • Judith Cowper Madan, 1702-81: a poet of skill and charm, who seems never to have been comfortable with the identity of female writer. Her poems (far fewer after her marriage than before) appeared in print in miscellanies, apparently without her agency. They were collected in manuscript by one of her brothers.
  • Susanna Pearson, probably before 1770 – after 1817: poet (with work in magazines and two collected volumes) whose life remains almost unknown. Even the ascription to her of a single novel is not entirely certain, but both poetry and novel are full of interest.
  • May Kendall, 1861-1943: author of highly individual poetry, New Woman novels, fairy-tale, and social reform polemic.
  • Mary Frances Billington, 1862-1925: journalist whose achievements in this field were ground-breaking for a woman and who smoothed other women's way in her profession. Her books deal with Western perceptions of women's lives in India, and women's work during World War One.
  • Doreen Wallace, 1897-1989: one of the early university-educated women novelists, whose fiction is much concerned with the limited options for the educated woman; also a non-fiction about English regions, and a polemicist in the anti-tithe movement.
  • Diana Athill, publisher, fiction-writer, and author of highly-regarded, unusually frank personal and professional memoirs extending into old age.
  • Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013: leading Irish poet of the second part of the twentieth century, and author of perceptive literary-critical works.

Entries Enhanced

As always there are exciting new publications: Fleur Adcock's Glass Wings, Margaret Atwood's MaddAdam, Margaret Drabble's The Pure Gold Baby , Germaine Greer's White Beech, Susan Hill's Black Sheep, Elizabeth Jane Howard's All Change, Penelope Lively's Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time, Edna O'Brien's The Love Object, Ruth Rendell's No Man's Nightingale, Zadie Smith's The Embassy of Cambodia, and Fay Weldon's The New Countess, third in her Love and Inheritance series. Also non-publications like Timberlake Wertenbaker's new (and ancient) play, Our Ajax.
  • Also news to rejoice at: Alice Munro's being awarded the Nobel Prize for fiction. Also news to mourn: the death of Doris Lessing.
  • Elizabeth Jane Howard's death on 2 January 2014, unlike her final novel on 7 November 2013, came too late for this update to notice it properly.
  • And as usual, there are some additions that escaped earlier updates, like Louise Page's theatrical adaptation of Hugh Walpole's Rogue Herries, which played at Keswick in March-April 2013.
  • Jane Cave Norbert Schrer's research has supplied better birth and death dates, a previously unknown verse pamphlet, and a volume, long lost to sight, which with unique candour details her husband's frequenting of a brothel and infecting her with sexually transmitted disease.
  • Maureen Duffy: her eightieth birthday was splendidly celebrated at King's College, London.
  • Antonia Fraser: her study of the eighteen months leading up to the first Reform Bill, The Perilous Question.
  • Germaine Greer: her sale of her papers to the University of Melbourne.
  • Aemilia Lanyer. Simon Forman's diaries are now available online (in part) in the Wellcome Casebooks Project.
  • Amy Levy: some revisions in light of Christine Pullen's critical biography.
  • Olivia Manning: some details from Deirdre David's biography, 2012.
  • J. K. Rowling: the sensation of this update. Her publishing of a detective novel under a male pseudonym, her unmasking, and her completion of a second in what will be a series.
  • Naomi Royde-Smith: many interesting details added, originating when a user contacted Orlando to point out an error derived from the ODNB entry.
  • Mary Shelley: On Hallowe'en the first phase of the Shelley-Godwin Archive (centrepiece the ms of Frankenstein) opened to the public.

Free-standing events

New contextual events begin and end with religion: from the creation of the exquisite Kentish Vespasian Psalter in about the year 756 to the prayers offered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the first day of the month of Tamuz (9 June 2013) by feminist women praying in the same way that Jewish men pray.

Summary of Content

10 entries (8 British women writers, 1 other women writer and 1 male writer); 40 new free-standing chronology entries; 545 new bibliographical listings; 45,673 new tags; 88,620 new words (exclusive of tags).
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