Orlando: Women's Writing

Writers with Entries

New: January 2015

New Author Entries

  • Elizabeth Grymeston, before 1563 - 1601/4. Her single surviving text, published soon after her death, is a literary-historical landmark whether read as conduct literature, essays, or a mother's legacy.
  • Olaudah Equiano, c. 1745 - 1797. Afro-British sailor, explorer, and autobiographer. His memoirs are the most important among his various abolitionist writings.
  • Anna Maria Mackenzie, by 1760 - after 1816. Author of fifteen novels and a biblical paraphrase: anonymous, pseudonymous, and under three successive married names.
  • Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins, 1763 - 1828. Published novelist and poet, whose translations and periodical contributions remain unidentified.
  • Catherine Sinclair, 1800 - 1864. Scottish writer of Evangelical, didactic fiction and non-fiction, some of it addressed to the young, and of travel books about Britain.
  • Charlotte Guest, 1812 - 1895. English enthusiast for medieval Welsh romance: translator of the Mabinogion. She was a lifelong diarist, and also published on the iron business and on her collection of porcelain.
  • Kate Greenaway, 1846 - 1901. Though remembered almost exclusively as an illustrator, she longed to be a writer, and published her own verses for children in Under the Window, 1879, and other volumes.
  • Maud Gonne, ?1866 - 1953. English-born activist in the cause of Irish independence. Her polemical writings culminated in her autobiography, A Servant of the Queen, 1938. The queen here is Cathleen Ni Houlihan.
  • Kathleen Nott, 1905 - 1999. Novelist, poet, and philosophical and critical writer, who sought to counter the infiltration of literary by religious criteria in the criticism of T. S. Eliot and others.
  • Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014. Afro-American poet, dramatist, and autobiographer.

Entries Enhanced

There are the usual exciting new publications: Gillian Allnutt, indwelling; Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress; Eavan Boland, A Woman without a Country; Wendy Cope, Life, Love and The Archers; Carol Ann Duffy, Ritual Lighting, plus her anthology 2014: Poetry Remembers, plus ""September 2014"", a poem on the love and pain between Scotland and England; Helen Dunmore, The Lie; Margaret Forster, My Life in Houses; Maggie Gee, Virginia Woolf in Manhattan; Julia Kristeva, Teresa, My Love (translated from Thérèse mon amour, 2008); Andrea Levy, Six Stories and an Essay; Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher; Alice Munro, Family Furnishings; Ruth Padel, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth; Sheenagh Pugh, Short Days, Long Shadows; Adrienne Rich, Later Poems: Selected and New, 1971-2012 (her final, posthumous volume, her own selection from her life's work in verse); J. K. Rowling, The Silkworm; Rose Tremain, The American Lover; Marina Warner, Once Upon a Time; Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests. Besides these, mention of much new scholarly work has been added to entries.
Deaths to record and mourn: Nadine Gordimer, P. D. James, and Mary Stewart.
  • Margaret Atwood: not only her new volume of tales but also her signing up as the first of a hundred writers, the majority not yet born, to be commissioned one per year to write for the Future Library, not to be read for a hundred years.
  • Aphra Behn: Orlando held back on reporting Leah Orr's questioning whether Behn truly wrote the well-known Love-Letters from a Nobleman to His Sister. Now the Scriblerian has called this article important (though not conclusive) the entry has been modified accordingly.
  • Vera Brittain: Phoenix brought out a new edition of Testament of Youth to mark the centenary of the Great War.
  • Dorothea Primrose Campbell: from Charlotte Walker's research, the promised evidence that while living in her native Shetland she participated in a magazine network based on London, and published both poems and fiction in the Ladies' [or Lady's] Monthly Museum.
  • Agatha Christie: Added: advance notice of a stage adaptation of The Secret Adversary to mark her 125th birthday in 2015. Emended: the date in Orlando's statement that The Mousetrap is still running, the world's longest-lived theatre production. Memo: change this every year!.
  • Kate Clanchy: two anthologies of schoolchildren's writing under the auspices of the impressive charity First Story.
  • Anne Damer: the exhibition of her works in sculpture held at Strawberry Hill from August to November 2014.
  • Kate Parry Frye: entry expanded in the light of Elizabeth Crawford's e-biography. This supplies, for instance, information about Frye's unperformed plays, and illuminates a whole new aspect of her diary: her unflinching chronicle of old age.
  • Jackie Kay,Liz Lochhead: among twenty contributors to Dear Scotland, which was first a performance piece, then a book: state-of-the-nation monologues composed each in the voice of a sitter depicted at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
  • Doris Lessing: Jenny Diski's reminiscences of having been virtually adopted by Lessing as an unhappy and unruly teenager.
  • Naomi Mitchison: another reprint worth mentioning is Princeton's edition of The Fourth Pig, with an introduction by Marina Warner.
  • J. K. Rowling: not only a new detective story, but the entrenchment of the Hogwarts game of quidditch on actual, nonfictional US campuses (played, however, at ground level).

Free-standing events

The Scottish referendum of 18 September 2014 demanded not only an event in the chronological record but additions to individual entries, like those on Kathleen Jamie and Carol Ann Duffy. Rather more recent or topical events have been added than usual: not only the Scottish vote but the Anglican Church's vote to permit women bishops, the Girl Power Summit in London against female genital mutilation, the displacement of men by women on the walls of an Oxford dining hall, and the European Space Agency's landing on a comet. Less-recent material has been added on the histories of censorship, contraception, and various aspects of the long-running struggle for gender equality.
As usual, a good deal of existing chronological material has been enhanced: this time information has been expanded on matters ranging from the Eiffel Tower through British railway history to Russian space dogs.

Summary of Content

10 entries (9 British women writers and 1 other women writer); 25 new free-standing chronology entries; 251 new bibliographical listings; 8,449 new tags; 25,965 new words (exclusive of tags).
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