Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (July 3, 1912 – November 19, 1975) was a British novelist and author of short stories who is generally acknowledged to be underrated — a brilliant writer who deserves to be more widely read. She is not to be confused with the iconic actress with the same name.

Writers as distinct as Antonia Fraser, Barbara Pym, and Kingsley Amis admired her works, which are filled with impassioned as well as lonely characters. Read More→

Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre by Glynnis Fawkes

From Charlotte Bronte Before Jane Eyre by Glynnis Fawkes

Knowing how obsessed I am with all things Brontë, my brother thoughtfully gifted me with Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre, a graphic biography  by Glynnis Fawkes.

Charmingly told and skillfully drawn, this book for readers of all ages covers the most famous of the brilliant literary sisters, Charlotte Brontë, from her early years to the moment she sends off the finished manuscript of Jane Eyre to a prospective publisher. Said she: “It’s sent. Now there’s nothing but forlorn hope.”

Of course, the legions of fans of Jane Eyre know how this turned out, though fewer readers know of the trials that beset the Brontë sisters — Charlotte, Emily, and Anne — from their childhoods to their premature deaths. Glynnis Fawkes captures their spirit and sorrows. Read More→

A Matter of Prejudice by Kate Chopin (1895) – full text

A Night in Acadie by Kate Chopin

The short story, “A Matter of Prejudice” by Kate Chopin (1850 – 1904), the American author best remembered for The Awakening (1899), is one of many short works by this prolific author. It was written in 1893, first published in 1895, and included in Chopin’s collection A Night in Acadie (1897).

Much of Chopin’s literary output preceded The Awakening, a novella; the poor reception it received is thought to have discouraged her. It was often vilified by the press, and frequently banned. Decades later it became a feminist classic, and revitalized interest in her other writings. Read More→

8 Iconic Poems by Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) the noted American poet, was recognized with numerous awards during the course of her career, including the Pulitzer Prize. Here you’ll find 8 iconic poems by Elizabeth Bishop that are among her best known.

Not a particularly prolific writer, Bishop published only 101 poems during her lifetime. Her literary reputation has grown since her death, with iconic poems like “One Art,” “A Miracle for Breakfast,” “Sestina,” and “The Fish.”

As a poet, Bishop took great care to rewrite and revise her work. She didn’t give the reader much of a glimpse into her own life, but instead, her poems contained intimate observations of the physical world. She often expressed themes of loss and the struggle to find one’s place in the world in universal rather than personal way. Read More→

Grazia Deledda

Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda (September 1871 – August 15, 1936), more commonly known as Grazia Deledda, was an Italian writer best known for being the first Italian woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1926).

She was praised “for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general.”

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Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop older

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was a noted American poet. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Bishop won numerous awards during the course of her career, including the Pulitzer Prize.

Her reputation as a significant poet has only grown since her death. Her most iconic poems include “The Fish,” “One Art,” “A Miracle for Breakfast,” and “Sestina.”

Bishop wasn’t a particularly prolific poet, preferring to spend long periods of time revising her work; she wrote just over one hundred poems. Her poetry is characterized by keen observations of the physical world and a serene yet searching attitude. Many of her poems grapple with themes of loss and the struggle to find one’s place in the world.  Read More→

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen (1934)

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen (1885 – 1962) is a masterful collection of short stories by the Danish author best known for Out of Africa (1937), a now-controversial memoir of her life as a coffee plantation owner in the colonized Kenya of the 1920s.

In 1931, the plantation’s fortunes collapsed, and she returned to her family home in Denmark from Kenya. Karen Christenze Dinesen was the author’s original name, and she was known as Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, or simply Karen Blixen, during her disastrous marriage.

Upon her return to her home country, she began writing in earnest. In 1934, Seven Gothic Tales, a collection of stories she had written in English, was published. Read More→

12 African-American Suffragists Who Shouldn’t be Overlooked

African American women suffragists

The women’s suffrage movement in the United States led to the establishment of the legal right for women to vote nationally when the 19th amendment was ratified 1920. Here we present twelve African-American suffragists whose contributions shouldn’t be overlooked, a mere fraction of those who should be acknowledged and honored.

As women’s suffrage gained momentum in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, African-American women often were marginalized. Yet despite the odds, Black suffragists made important strides in the fight for voting rights.

African-American women suffragists dealt with the political concerns of white suffragists who were aware that they needed the support of  Southern legislators both on the state and federal levels. Read More→

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