Lost Ladies of Literature

This page is dedicated to underrated female authors and to every reader who has felt frustrated by  male-dominated English curricula. These are the writers I should have learned about as an English major, but didn’t. I will continue adding authors to this page.

Elizabeth Gaskell

IMG_0814

Gaskell is hardly a forgotten author, but I added her to this page, because I hadn’t heard of her before I started this project. She has grown to be one of my favorite authors. She has actually taken George Eliot’s place in my heart as my favorite female author of the Victorian Era. Ruth is a poignant and passionate defense of unwed mothers. North and South is sort of like Pride and Prejudice recast in an industrial setting, it has the same sexual tension and misunderstandings.

Jane C. Loudon

The Mummy Jane C Loudon

The Mummy, Jane C Loudon

Loudon wrote a book called The Mummy which is so obscure, I couldn’t find a copy or even an e-book. I had to read a pdf from archive.orgThe Mummy is a futuristic, sci-fi, steampunk adventure story. No joke. It’s very silly. A scientist reanimates the mummy of an Egyptian pharaoh. The mummy immediately steals the scientist’s dirigible and pilots it to England where he becomes very concerned with the succession of the next Queen of England. Silly.But, full of delightful descriptions of steampunk inventions. Steampunk fans haven’t even heard of her. Jules Verne gets credit for writing the first steampunk novels. Loudon deserves some of that credit.

Catharine Sedgewick

Hope Leslie

Hope Leslie

Sedgewick’s depiction of relations between white European settlers and Native Americans is expectedly  hit or miss. However, she had the audacity to depict the heroine of her third novel, Hope Leslie, as an equal of the male characters. Hope Leslie reminds me of Anne of Green Gables, in that she’s kind, imaginative, and too good for the world that contains her.

Maria Edgeworth

The Irish Jane Austen. Edgeworth’s criticism of the British aristocracy is more overt than Austen’s. Her rebellious female characters are more rebellious. Edgeworth is far from the most obscure author on this list, but I never heard of her as an English major and I should have, because she’s great.

belinda

Belinda, Maria Edgeworth

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