The Forgotten Women Writers of the 19th Century


Over at Lit Hub, Anne Boyd Rioux discusses the literary genius of the 19-century novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson, and the American tradition of “the diminution of women writers” that continues today:

Woolson’s literary star faded quickly after her death in 1894, a time of shifting literary tastes. With the advent of literary modernism, her work was branded Victorian and sentimental, although its excavation of her characters’ deepest emotions makes it perennially modern to those who seek it out. Woolson’s work and career are a reminder that women’s literary ambitions are not a recent phenomenon. She was a writer who aimed for and reached the heights of literary recognition, despite even greater obstacles than those facing women writers today.

Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →