Title

Before Jane Austen: Some Forgotten English Women Writers

Subject Area

Women and Gender Studies

Abstract

Jane Austen is the earliest English novelist still widely read in our time. However, there were many other women novelists, almost forgotten today, that were very popular in her lifetime and that clearly influenced her work. I would like to speak about a few which I have found especially interesting. Not surprisingly, the main characters in these novels are, as in Austen's novels, young women, and it is noteworthy that occasionally their authors are not afraid to display certain “feminist” tendencies. Moreover, their heroines are, on the whole, neither passive nor idealized. Women authors present female characters objectively: they are not flawless, but they have intelligence and strength of will.

Brief Bio Note

Helena Jeny has the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and the M.A. in Classics from the Johns Hopkins University. She has taught literature and Latin at college, high, and middle school level. Presently she teaches Latin at Maury High School in Norfolk, VA.

Keywords

Jane Austen, women authors, English literature

Location

R00m 210

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 9:55 AM

Embargo

11-4-2016

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Mar 24th, 9:55 AM

Before Jane Austen: Some Forgotten English Women Writers

R00m 210

Jane Austen is the earliest English novelist still widely read in our time. However, there were many other women novelists, almost forgotten today, that were very popular in her lifetime and that clearly influenced her work. I would like to speak about a few which I have found especially interesting. Not surprisingly, the main characters in these novels are, as in Austen's novels, young women, and it is noteworthy that occasionally their authors are not afraid to display certain “feminist” tendencies. Moreover, their heroines are, on the whole, neither passive nor idealized. Women authors present female characters objectively: they are not flawless, but they have intelligence and strength of will.