Writing Women's Literary History

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"This engaging, revisionary book questions current notions of feminist literary historyincluding approaches to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and contributes significantly to new understandings of seventeenth- century women's writing. It is especially timely because feminism is in a particularly self-reflexive mood at the moment, and Ezell's approach is original in its attention to the early period." — Felicity Nussbaum, Syracuse University

By championing the recovery of "lost" women writers and insisting ...

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Overview

"This engaging, revisionary book questions current notions of feminist literary historyincluding approaches to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and contributes significantly to new understandings of seventeenth- century women's writing. It is especially timely because feminism is in a particularly self-reflexive mood at the moment, and Ezell's approach is original in its attention to the early period." — Felicity Nussbaum, Syracuse University

By championing the recovery of "lost" women writers and insisting on reevaluating the past, women's studies and feminist theory have effected dramatic changes in the ways English literary history is written and taught. In Writing Women's Literary History, Margaret Ezell critically examines these successful women's literary histories and applies to them the same self-conscious feminism that critics have applied to more traditional methods. According to Ezell, by relying not only on past male scholarship but also on inherited notions of "tradition," some feminist historicists replicate the evolutionary, narrative model of history that originally marginalized women who wrote before 1700. Drawing both on French feminisms and on recent historicist scholarship, Ezell points us to new possibilities for the recovery of early modern women's literary history.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Ezell, (English, Texas A&M U.) argues that the recovery and interpretation of women's literary works is being conducted within the framework of values and assumptions established by male scholarship. The inherited notions of "tradition" and "progress" that marginalized women writers before 1700 must be recognized and replaced with feminist models. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801844324
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret J. M. Ezell is a professor of English at Texas A & M University. She is the author of The Patriarch's Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family and editor of The Poems and Prose of Mary, Lady Chudleigh.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Patterns of Inquiry 1
1 A Tradition of Our Own: Writing Women's Literary History in the Twentieth Century 14
2 The Myth of Judith Shakespeare: Creating the Canon of Women's Literature in the Twentieth Century 39
3 The Tedious Chase: Writing Women's Literary History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 66
4 Memorials of the Female Mind: Creating the Canon of Women's Literature in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 104
5 Breaking the Seventh Seal: Writings by Early Quaker Women 132
Conclusion: Revelations and Re-visioning 161
Notes 167
Bibliography 181
Index 195
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