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Lauren Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald argues that Ellen Moers‘s account of the Female Gothic has its roots in a Lockean, European Enlightenment, philosophy of ownership. For Fitzgerald, this philosophy also influenced a 1970s feminist revision of the canon that involved identifying, and reclaiming, a ‘herstory’ of womens writing. Issues concerning the critical ownership of Ann Radcliffe, for example, illustrate how academic feminism has approached, and developed, the idea of what constitutes ‘womens writing’, whilst simultaneously indicating the extent to which Enlightenment ideas of ownership have shaped the Anglo-American feminist tradition.

Gothic Studies
Victoria Joule

In this article I demonstrate the significance of a flexible approach to examining the autobiographical in early eighteenth-century womens writing. Using ‘old stories’, existing and developing narrative and literary forms, womens autobiographical writing can be discovered in places other than the more recognizable forms such as diaries and memoirs. Jane Barker and Delarivier Manley‘s works are important examples of the dynamic and creative use of cross-genre autobiographical writing. The integration of themselves in their fictional and poetic works demonstrates the potential of generic fluidity for innovative ways to express and explore the self in textual forms.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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An anthology of seventeenthcentury women’s writing

This anthology makes accessible to readers ten little-known and understudied works by seventeenth-century women (edited from manuscript and print) that explore the relationship between spiritual and physical health during this period. Providing a detailed and engaging introduction to the issues confronted when studying women's writing from this period, the anthology also examines female interpretations of illness, exploring beliefs that toothache and miscarriage (and other complications involving pregnancy) could be God's punishments, but also, paradoxically, that such terrible suffering could be understood as proof that a believer was eternally beloved. Many of the extracts in the anthology present illness as an important part of women's conversion, confirming their religious beliefs, but some women interpreted bodily dysfunction as the result of the Devil's temptations, in some cases leading them to practise starvation and attempt suicide. Unlike many previous studies of seventeenth-century women's writing, this anthology considers both religious and medical contexts for the works, demonstrating the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to studying them, and these contexts are both discussed at length in the book's introduction. Each of the ten extracts also has its own introduction, highlighting relevant contexts and further reading, and is fully annotated.

Julia Kavanagh, 1824–77

Julia Kavanagh was a popular and internationally published writer of the mid-nineteenth century whose collective body of work included fiction, biography, critical studies of French and English women writers, and travel writing. This critically engaged study presents her as a significant but neglected writer and returns her to her proper place in the history of women's writing. Through an examination of Kavanagh's work, letters and official documents, it paints a portrait of a woman who achieved not simply a necessary economic independence, but a means through which she could voice the convictions of her sexual politics in her work. The study addresses the current enthusiasm for the reclamation of neglected women writers, and also brings to light material that might otherwise have remained unknown to the specialist.

New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: and

The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.

Phebe Gibbes

This novel is a designedly political document. Written at the time of the Hastings impeachment and set in the period of Hastings’s Orientalist government, Hartly House, Calcutta (1789) represents a dramatic delineation of the Anglo-Indian encounter. The novel constitutes a significant intervention in the contemporary debate concerning the nature of Hastings’s rule of India by demonstrating that it was characterised by an atmosphere of intellectual sympathy and racial tolerance. Within a few decades the Evangelical and Anglicising lobbies frequently condemned Brahmans as devious beneficiaries of a parasitic priestcraft, but Phebe Gibbes’s portrayal of Sophia’s Brahman and the religion he espouses represent a perception of India dignified by a sympathetic and tolerant attempt to dispel prejudice.

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Erotic fiction and the avant-garde in mid-century Paris and New York
Authors: and

In New York and in Paris from 1930 to 1970, daring publishers produced banned English-language literature, and young writers, poets and artists wrote pornography to order, often anonymously. Some of those involved were, or became, famous (Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin); others less so. In New York, they wrote for a broker for a mysterious oil magnate who sought pornography for his own sexual gratification, though some of the product would go on to be published more widely. In Paris, the publication of English-language erotic writing was generated by two innovative publishers. Jack Kahane, with the Obelisk Press in the 1930s, published work banned or impossible to publish in England or America. In the 1950s and 1960s, Kahane’s son, the publisher Maurice Girodias, with the Olympia Press, produced avant-garde, modernist literature as well as unadulterated porn – dirty books, or ‘dbs’. Girodias attempted a reprise in New York in the 1960s, but the venture failed. Most of these pornographers wrote to survive, but some also relished the freedom to experiment that anonymity provided. Men wrote as women; women wrote as men. Indeed, many women were involved in this written pornography. Dirty Books examines these fascinating moments in pornographic history, writing the sexual revolution before the sexual revolution.

Heather Walton

understood not only as literature but also as integrally intertextual and intergeneric. The black women’s literary tradition is looked to for historical, anthropological, philosophical and theological resources that can aid black women in establishing an identity which is self-affirming and socially liberating (see, for example, Caroline Boyce Davies’ critical text Black Women, Writing and Identity, 1994). However, Cannon makes a bold and original move in representing the Walton_01_Intr0_Ch4.indd 62 2/12/06 16:43:47 Beyond the one and the other black women’s literary

in Literature, theology and feminism
Tim Woods

Boyce Davies 1994 : 152), and Buchi Emecheta. In her book entitled Black Women, Writing and Identity , Carole Boyce Davies has been fierce in her critique of the appropriateness of the term ‘postcolonialism’ to African women’s writing: ‘post-coloniality represents a misnaming of current realities … It is too premature a formulation, it is too totalising, it erroneously

in African pasts
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Researching early modern women and the poem
Susan Wiseman

in which the Anne King under discussion appears on the world wide web is (along with many of the other women writing in the early modern period) as an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The author of King’s entry, Vivienne Larminie, deftly balances the evidence that King was a writer and art practitioner against the absence of an extant body of made and written materials. The entry is long enough to strike a careful biographical balance. It represents the existing hints that King is worth consideration while not claiming so much that King

in Early modern women and the poem