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Top 10 19th-Century Women Writers

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In the study of 19th-century Victorian literature, women writers like Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Mary Shelley are fixtures in our imagination; but who are the other women writers of the period? What did they accomplish? What struggles did they overcome to become some of the greatest (and perhaps among the most memorable) women writers of all time? Read more about 19th-Century Women Writers.

1. Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Im.

by Sandra M. Gilbert, and Susan Gubar. Yale University Press. From the publisher: "This pathbreaking book of feminist criticism is now reissued with a substantial new introduction by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar that reveals the origins of their revolutionary realization in the 1970s that 'the personal was the political, the sexual was the textual'."

2. Silent Voices: Forgotten Novels by Victorian Women Writers

by Brenda Ayres (Editor). Greenwood Publishing Group. From the publisher: "Some of the greatest English novels were written during the Victorian era, and many are still widely read and taught today. But many others written during that period have been neglected by scholars and modern readers alike. With the increasing interest in revising Victorian history and gender scholarship, especially through the rediscovery of lost texts written by women, this book is a timely and much needed study."
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3. Victorian Women Writers and the Woman Question

by Nicola Diane Thompson (Editor). Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: ""Women writers dominated the vast novel market in Victorian England, yet twentieth-century criticism has, until now, been chiefly concerned with a small number of canonical novelists. This collection of essays by leading scholars from Britain, the USA, and Canada opens up the limited landscape of Victorian novels by focusing attention on some of the women writers popular in their own time..."
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4. Traditions of Victorian Women's Autobiography

by Linda H. Peterson. Universiy of Virginia Press. From the publisher: "Arguing that women's autobiography does not represent a singular separate tradition but instead embraces multiple lineages, Linda H. Peterson explores the poetics and politics of these diverse forms of life writing. She carefully analyzes the polemical 'Autobiography of Harriet Martineau' and 'Personal Recollections of Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna,' the missionary memoirs that challenge Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre'..."

5. Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers

by Abigail Burnham Bloom (Editor). Greenwood Publishing Group. From the publisher: "British women writers of the 19th century were a remarkably talented, diverse, and prolific group. While some of these writers, such as Jane Austen and George Eliot, have long been recognized for their contributions, many others have been overlooked. This reference guide includes alphabetically arranged entries for more than 90 British women writers of the 19th century."
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6. Disease, Desire and the Body in Victorian Women's Popular Novels

by Pamela K. Gilbert. Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: "Pamela Gilbert argues that popular fiction in mid-Victorian Britain was regarded as both feminine and diseased. She discusses work by three popular women novelists of the time: M. E. Braddon, Rhoda Broughton and 'Ouida'."
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7. Women, Writing, and the Industrial Revolution

by Susan Zlotnick. Johns Hopkins University Press. From the publisher: "As Susan Zlotnick argues in 'Women, Writing, and the Industrial Revolution,' novelists Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë, Frances Trollope, and Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna were more willing to embrace industrialism than their male counterparts. While these women's responses to early industrialism differed widely, they imagined the industrial revolution and the modernity it heralded in ways unique to their gender."
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8. A Serious Occupation: Literary Criticism by Victorian Women Writers

by Solveig C. Robinson (Editor). Broadview Press. From the publisher: "This anthology of literary criticism by Victorian women of letters brings together a wealth of difficult-to-find writings. Originally published from the 1830s through the 1890s, the essays concern a range of topics including poetry, fiction, non-fiction prose, the roles of literature and of criticism, topical reviews of major works, and retrospectives of major authors."

9. Chastity And Transgression In Women's Writing, 1792-1897

by Roxanne Eberle. Palgrave. From the publisher: "Two important moments in women's history frame Roxanne Eberle's project: 1790s proto-feminism and 1890s 'first-wave' feminism. The first half of her study focuses upon the interrelationship between early political tracts, including Mary Wollstonecraft's 'Vindication of the Rights of Woman.'
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10. The Reader's Repentance: Women Preachers, Women Writers, and Social Discourse

by by Christine L. Krueger. University of Chicago Press. From the publisher: "Documenting and analyzing the tradition of women's preaching as a powerful and distinctly feminist force in the development of nineteenth-century social fiction, The Reader's Repentance reconstitutes a significant chapter in the history of women and culture. This original work will be of interest to students of women's history, literature, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century society."
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