NEW AUTHOR ENTRIES
This batch of new entries remarkably reflects the international aspect of British women’s writing. We have here authors of English, Irish, Welsh, New Zealand, Nigerian, and totally unknown origins and allegiances; we have careers largely pursued in Italy, Mexico, New Mexico, New York, and all around the world; we have intimate involvement with other cultures — not only the list just above, but also the Russian, Ukrainian, French, Polish, Ruthenian, and Yucatec Maya languages.
- Mrs E. M. Foster, novelist whose attributions and whose very existence are contested, who published between 1795 and 1809 (or possibly even 1817). Her name is (arguably) linked with one particularly interesting text: The Woman of Colour, 1808.
- Linda Villari, 1836-1915, novelist, journalist, travel writer and translator. Her novels tend to be thin on plot (often related to actual events and people) but were praised for the same descriptive powers as her non-fiction about Italy.
- Alice Dixon Le Plongeon, 1851-1910, archaeologist and writer whose texts (from a travel diary to epic poems) sprang from her passion and her husband’s for the ancient history of Yucatán in Mexico, and their field-work among the people there.
- Ethel Lilian Voynich, 1864-1960, translator and novelist associated with the European revolutionary movements of the late nineteenth century. She rendered into English texts from Russian, Ukrainian, French, Polish, and Ruthenian, and scored a worldwide hit with her novel The Gadfly, 1897.
- Daisy Ashford, 1881-1972, one of the most famous of child writers, remembered for her novel of love and social climbing The Young Visiters, written at the age of nine.
- Dorothy Brett, 1883-1977, modernist painter whose best-known writing (among other memoirs and travel journals) is an account of her life-changing experience as friend and disciple of D. H. Lawrence.
- Ngaio Marsh, 1895-1982, New Zealand detective-story writer who was also distinguished as a painter and a director of Shakespeare. She spent much of her life in England and the majority of her novels are set there.
- Leonora Carrington, 1917-2011, Surrealist painter and writer who spent much of her life in Mexico, the US, and Europe, whose fiction and memoir often feature episodes of violence and social disruption from perspectives of girls and women.
- Jan Morris, born 1926, Welsh journalist, travel writer, author of popular histories of the British Empire, and memoirist who is well-known for Conundrum, 1974, about her sex-change experience.
- Bernardine Evaristo, born 1959, Black British author of verse novels as well as (later) prose fiction and short fiction. She actively in promotes BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) writing in and well beyond academic communities.
Entries Enhanced. We hoped we might get away without death notices this time, but no. It is sad to have to reports the deaths of novelists Buchi Emecheta and Emma Tennant and playwright Ann Jellicoe: three writers from different social worlds who each contributed to the rich patchwork of British women’s writing.
Hélène Cixous: took it good-humouredly when she found herself featured in a sex scene in a novel by Laurent Binet which reached English as The Seventh Function of Language, 2017.
Grace Elliott or Eliot: updated from Major and Murden’s biography. Who knew that she was born not Grace but Grissell, as her sister Jacintha was born Janet?
Anna Kavan: good news that Penguin Classics are doing an anniversary edition of Ice, 1967. Jonathan Lethem uses the word “ecocatastrophe” in writing of this book in the New York Times; this was known already, but the remark does bring out the timeliness of Ice.
Andrea Levy: recognitions added: Oprah’s reading guide to The Long Song, an accolade from the Richard and Judy Book Club; a volume of critical essays.
Elizabeth Melvill or Melville: she has been honoured in Makars’ Place in Edinburgh (“The Poets’ Corner of the North”) with a stone engraved with lines from her poetry.
Sylvia Pankhurst: in spring 2017 Jackie Mulhallen’s play about her toured in a new version, featuring Sylvia in old age.
Harold Pinter: his widow Antonia Fraser discovered in his notebooks and printed in The Guardian his prescient little play or dialogue, “The Pres and the Officer”, in which a US presidential decree goes out to nuke London.
Radagunda Roberts: added to this very recent entry a fuller explanation of what just might be implied in her unusual given name.
J. K. Rowling: the launch in August of the TV series Strike based on her crime novels.
Carol Rumens: her long-running “Poem of the Week” feature in The Guardian is now mentioned in her entry (as an ongoing publication) as well as in some other poets’ entries.
Dodie Smith: production of a musical based on I Capture the Castle.
Mary Somerville: her image figures on the new polymer Scottish ten-pound notes.
Emma Tennant: only after Tennant’s death did Orlando add the information that in 2008 she had married her long-term partner for tax reasons.
A dozen “new” events added, including dates in the history of the International Federation of University Women (now Graduate Women International).
Summary of Contents
10 entries (10 British women writers); 12 new free-standing chronology entries; 307 new bibliographical listings; 24,556 new tags; 94,006 new words (exclusive of tags).