Orlando: Women's Writing

Writers with Entries

January 2017

New Author Entries

  • Elizabeth Isham, 1609-54, diarist who kept both telegraphic and more expanded records of her life, with special attention to her social and spiritual struggles over her preference for remaining unmarried.
  • Anne Dacier, 1645-1720, French classical scholar, editor, and translator: for generations the type, model, and justification of the learned woman.
  • May Drummond, 1709/10-1777, Scottish Quaker pamphleteer and wildly popular preacher, who unlike most Quaker women ministers came from a successful and distinguished family.
  • Anna Jane Vardill, 1781-1852, Romantic-era poet whose couple of volumes are outshone by her extensive magazine contributions. She apparently stopped writing at her marriage.
  • Antoinette Brown Blackwell, 1820-1921, first American woman ordained to the ministry, public speaker and author of philosophic, scientific, and theological works. Sister-in-law of the pioneering physician Elizabeth Blackwell.
  • Sophia Jex-Blake, 1840-1912, fighter for women's admission to medical education, unsuccessfully in England but successfully in Scotland (as Elizabeth Blackwell was in the USA). Her publications relate to her life's work in medicine and the advancement of women.
  • Eva Mary Bell, 1878-1959, novelist, mostly under the pseudonym of "John Travers". Her strong support for British rule in India drives the plot of some, though not all, of her novels.
  • Nan Shepherd, 1893-1981, Scottish author of three modernist novels, plus poetry and a book about the Cairngorm Mountains. She is about to be honoured with a portrait on the Scottish five-pound note.
  • Hannah Arendt, 1906-75, German-Jewish immigrant to the USA, well known as a philosopher, political theorist (especially on the topic of totalitarianism), and historian of the twentieth century.
  • Eudora Welty, 1909-2001, Southern American short-story writer and novelist.

Entries Enhanced

New Publications: Margaret Atwood, Catbird and Hag-seed; Anne Carson, FLOAT; Dinah Mulock Craik, The Half-Caste in a Broadview edition; Nawal El Saadawi, Diary of a Child Called Souad; Selima Hill, The Magnitude of my Sublime Existence; Susan Hill, The Travelling Bag and other Ghost Stories; Luce Irigaray, To Be Born; Jackie Kay, "Take Away"; Liz Lochhead, Fugitive Colours; Adrienne Rich, Collected Poems 1950-2012; Carol Rumens, Animal People; Zadie Smith, Swing Time.
Jane Austen: added a severe contemporary dismissal of the newly published Pride and Prejudice by Jane, Lady Davy (the great scientist's wife) as "a picture of vulgar minds and manners . . . unrelieved by the agreeable contrast of more dignified and refined characters."
Anne Carson has (as well as publishing FLOAT) appeared with Emily Berry and Sophie Collins in If I'm Scared We Can't Win: Penguin Modern Poets One (the latest series of Penguin Modern Poets, following those of 1962-75 and of 1995-7).
Agatha Christie: mention of the memorial to her in London's theatre district has been upgraded from a prophecy to a fact.
Gillian Clarke has come to the end of her term as National Poet of Wales—but then see Jackie Kay, below!
Catherine Gore: new and corrected information from Gary Simons, who is working on a biography.
Ann Jellicoe: a nice anecdote about T. S. Eliot in his publishing capacity and her play The Knack.
Elizabeth Jennings: a symposium held on her work in Oxford in October 2016.
Jackie Kay has been appointed Makar, the Poet Laureate of Scotland.
Gwen Moffat, aged 92, has been awarded honorary membership of the British Mountaineering Council; the short film "Operation Moffat" had Special Mention at the Banff Film Festival.
Mary More, author of "The Woman's Right", has had her Life screen virtually re-written from information provided by Frances Teague and Margaret J. M. Ezell in Educating English Daughters, 2016.
Alice Munro: celebrated Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodovar has transplanted Munro's Juliet (of "Chance", "Soon", and "Silence" in Runaway, 2004) to Spain in a film entitled Julieta.
Mary Palmer: we now know, thanks to Natasha Duquette in Veiled Intent, 2016, that this obscure Devon gentlewoman, explicator of the local dialect and sister of Frances Reynolds and Sir Joshua, was one of those whom Phillis Wheatley met on her visit to England.
Sarah Pearson: one of the many entries for which Orlando is grateful for research by Andrew Ashfield. We now know that she was Sarah not Susanna, and that she enjoyed a long, close, but almost undocumented friendship with Barbara Hofland.
J. K. Rowling: another phenomenally productive half-year, with the stage and print debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (not by her, but still) and the screen debut of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Free-standing events

Though the earliest event added this time dates from 1381, recent times account for a far larger share of added events than usual. Earth-shaking matters have been added: Britain's vote, on 23 June 2016, to leave the European Union; the USA's vote, on 8 November 2016, not to elect its first female presidential candidate, but instead an unrepentant male sexist and know-nothing. Years and generations will no doubt prove the relevance of these decisions to women, to literature, and to literature by women. Oh, and the UK also got its second female Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Summary of Content

10 entries (5 British women writers, 5 other women writer); 34 new free-standing chronology entries; 271 new bibliographical listings; 21, 480 new tags; 79, 896 new words (exclusive of tags).
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