Monday, February 16, 2009

Elaine Showalter's "A Jury of Her Peers"

A few North Shore literary figures show up in Elaine Showalter's recent history of American women of letters, A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx.

This L.A. Times review by Susan Salter Reynolds mentions Bradstreet:
"The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America" is a collection of poems describing the difficulties and joys of being a settler, wife and mother. It was published in London and required no fewer than 11 testimonials by male friends, family and critics to convince the publisher that it was indeed written by a woman and worthy of publication.
Harriet Beecher Stowe is quoted:
Nothing but deadly determination enables me to ever write—it is rowing against wind and tide.
As is Nathaniel Hawthorne (whose least flattering anecdotes make him sound like a prickly chauvinist):
Ink-stained women are, without a single exception, detestable.
The book comes out in late February. Looking forward to it.

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