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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Literature of Their Own

In Online Opinion, an Australian e-zine, Cireena Simcox makes an interesting case for rediscovering neglected women authors and points to their role in the rise of the novel:

"History commonly informs us the birth of the English fiction genre began in the 18th century. Even today, university classes dealing with 18th century literature investigate Swift and Defoe in depth, as the vanguard of the great explosion of novel-writing that marked the period. History, however, neglects to inform us the majority of 18th century novels were written by women: an historical fact easily verifiable through existing Stationers Lists. The fact both Swift and Defoe modelled their work on the new 'phantastick' genre, introduced by women writers in the previous century is not explored in mainstream literature classes."


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