A House with Four Rooms by Rumer Godden (1989)

A House with Four Rooms by Rumer Godden

A House with Four Rooms (1989) is the second part of a two-part autobiography by Rumer Godden (1907 – 1998). A noted and prolific novelist and memoirist born in Eastbourne, Sussex (England), her early years and youth were spent in India at the height of British colonial rule. Though her life was not without its share of struggles, it was often as dramatic and colorful as the stories she so skillfully created.

Interestingly, she based the title — A House With Four Rooms —on an Indian proverb, which says: “Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual.  Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.” Read More→


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a 1959 novel in the gothic horror genre, though it might be more accurately described as a literary ghost story. A finalist for the National Book Award, it’s a masterful story of psychological terror.

Hill House is a mansion built by Hugh Crain, long passed away. Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural, wishes to conduct a study there to find existence of spirits. With him are three young companions including the young heir to the mysterious house, and two young women. Read More→


12 Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Milay in a suit

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) has long been regarded as a major twentieth-century figure in the genre of poetry. Edna immersed herself in great works of literature from an early age. She read Shakespeare, Keats, Longfellow, Shelley, and Wordsworth.

At age of sixteen she compiled a dozen or so poems into a copybook and presented them to her mother as “Poetical Works of Vincent Millay.” In 1912, encouraged by her mother, Edna, then 19, sent her poem, “Renascence” to The Lyric Year, a magazine that held a yearly poetry contest and published winning entries. Though she didn’t win, the poem gained her a great deal of attention and launched her writing career.

Read More→

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (1951)

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier

My Cousin Rachel is a novel by British author Daphne du Maurier, first published in the U.K. in 1951 and in the U.S. in 1952. Echoing du Maurier’s masterwork, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel is a romantic thriller. It’s set primarily on a large estate in Cornwall, England, where du Maurier drew real-life inspiration from Antony House. There she saw a portrait of a woman named Rachel Carew, and the creative spark was lit.

So highly anticipated was My Cousin Rachel’s publication that the film rights were fought over even before it was published. David O. Selznick’s 1940 film adaptation of Rebecca had been hugely successful, giving him plenty of confidence in My Cousin Rachel’s prospects. In 1951, the year the novel was published in the U.K., Selznick sought the film rights.
Read More→


Endearing Quotes by Gabriela Mistral, Latina Nobel Prize Winner

“Gabriela Mistral, born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga (April 7, 1889 – January 10, 1957), was a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist. She was also best known for being the first Latin American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born in Vicuña, Chile she was raised in the small Andean village of Montegrande where her family was rather poor. She attended a primary school taught by her older sister, Emelina Molina, at the age of nine but only attended for three years.

Though she stopped formally attending school at the age of twelve, she became an educator just three years later. During her time as an educator, she began writing poetry and using her pen pal name, Gabriela Mistral.

Since then, Mistral’s poetry was fueled by heartbreak and life experiences. You might enjoy these 10 poems by Gabriela Mistral. Here are quotes by the talented and intellectual Nobel Prize in Literature recipient, Gabriela Mistral:

Read More→


Renaissance House: A Retreat for Writers and Artists

Helene Johnson, poet of the Harlem Renaissance

RENAISSANCE HOUSE RETREAT FOR WRITERS AND ARTISTS IN OAK BLUFFS RECEIVES A GRANT FROM SUSTAINABLE ARTS FOUNDATION AS IT ENTERS 20TH YEAR

Renaissance House: A Retreat for Writers and Artists has received a grant from The Sustainable Arts Foundation to fund a full scholarship to a resident and their child. The resident will be able to complete the program while the child goes to day camp or some other activity.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 season as well as for the scholarship.

“The retreat provides the time in which to create new works or finish existing ones. Renaissance House is one of the few retreats designed for issue-oriented writers, writers of color and writers of social justice,” explained Abigail McGrath, founder and director of Renaissance House, daughter of poet Helene Johnson and niece of Dorothy West. “The program is offered to artists who do not have the luxury of time.” Read More→


Ursula K. Le Guin 

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018), born Ursula Krober, was known primarily as a masterful writer of science fiction and fantasy, though she wrote across many genres. The imaginary worlds she created were commentaries on our real world, with all the complexities of human nature. She also produced children’s books, short stories, essays, and poetry.

Her lifelong interest in mythology influenced her mastery of the fantastic in her writings. With an immensely prolific and respected career to her credit, she is perhaps best remembered for The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea series. Lavinia (2008) also made quite a splash. Some of the themes explored in her speculative works include gender and sexuality, freedom, political systems, and morality. Read More→


Mary Norton

Mary Norton, author of The Borrowers

Mary Norton (December 10, 1903 – August 29, 1992) was a British children’s book author best known for The Borrowers series. Born Kathleen Mary Pearson in London, she grew up in a manor house in the town of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England, and attended a convent school.

In 1925, in her early twenties, Mary became an actress with the Old Vic theatre company. In 1926, she married Robert Norton. She and her husband moved to Portugal, close to his relatives, and lived there from 1927 until the outbreak of World War II twelve years later. The couple had four children — two sons and two daughters. Read More→


Subscribe to The Literary Ladies Guide weekly newsletter

Celebrating women’s voices
with inspiration for readers and writers

  • Find your next great read
  • Get writing advice from authors you love
  • Enjoy fascinating facts and quotes
  • Discover women’s literary history

... and lots more (look for a bonus in your welcome letter!)
Email address
Secure and Spam free...