Writing Women's Literary History

Writing Women's Literary History

by Margaret J. M. Ezell
     
 

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

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Overview

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Editorial Reviews

Yearbook of English Studies - Siv Jansson

Ezell's book is radical and revisionary, and especially interesting in its specificity and concentration on a neglected period of female writing. She is not afraid to take issue with established, even sacred, ideas in feminist writing, or to suggest that feminist literary criticism and history has been limited by its own prejudices and acceptance of questionable definitions of what is good and valid... Establishes many lost and missing names and texts within the margins of female literary history.

Boston Phoenix - Elaine Gale

From 'The Myth of Judith Shakespeare,' to 'Writings by Early Quaker Women,' Ezell's critique cuts a broad swath through women's literature.

Yearbook of English Studies
Ezell's book is radical and revisionary, and especially interesting in its specificity and concentration on a neglected period of female writing. She is not afraid to take issue with established, even sacred, ideas in feminist writing, or to suggest that feminist literary criticism and history has been limited by its own prejudices and acceptance of questionable definitions of what is good and valid... Establishes many lost and missing names and texts within the margins of female literary history.

— Siv Jansson

Boston Phoenix
From 'The Myth of Judith Shakespeare,' to 'Writings by Early Quaker Women,' Ezell's critique cuts a broad swath through women's literature.

— Elaine Gale

Journal of English and Germanic Philology

One hopes that her book will be read not only by scholars who have long agreed with her premise, but also by a wider audience that is unfamiliar with Renaissance genres and modes of publication.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801855085
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
10/16/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Felicity Nussbaum

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.

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