Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ladies of the Regency this time Women of letters

Each are beloved by me and I hope you'll be inspired to take a closer look at their writings.

Mrs. Maria Edgeworth was a good Irish novelist whose writing made Sir Walter Scott wondered if similar stories could be written of Scotland. This says quite a bit of her talent. Oh, Jane Austen was also a fan of her work and because of her novel 'Ormond' I have named all my novels thus far after in honour of the male-lead.

Susan Edmonstone Ferrier a Scottish novelist who was encouraged by Walter Scott. Proving once more that serendipity may yet have a role in all our lives, if not as much as real talent and Susan had scores of that. Her novel 'Marriage' is a satirical, racy and humorous tale that exhibits her keen sense of the ludicrous while highlighting the madness that was regency England.

Lady Sydney Morgan a woman as Irish as Mrs. Edgeworth, though considerably livelier she was not as based in her work but she did have a degree of success as a writer. I highly recommend Lady Morgan’s 'O'Briens and the O'Flaherties' for it’s romantic yet sensible story.

Fanny D’Arblay Burney was part of Prinny’s entourage with a large body of work and a degree of critical success. Oh, and fair bit of scandal was associated with her name because of her impoverished French husband. The title of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' was taken from a sentence in Madame D’Arblay novel 'Cecilia'. For me the most compelling thing written by Fanny will always be the letter she wrote to her sister Esther tell of the mastectomy she under went while living in France. It remains until today one of the most gripping and earliest accounts of a mastectomy.

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley was by far the most scandalous of the ladies of letters, said to be the cause of her husband's first wife Harriet's suicide though the truth is that Harriet was pregnant by a man who was not her husband and could not take the disgrace. Though her husband's elopement with Mary while he was still married to her could not have helped it was also rumoured that Mary and Percy did invite her to come live with them in a sort of ‘ménage à trois’ someplace on the Continent. All that aside she was a brilliant writer. Everyone knows her 'Frankenstein' but I highly recommend her tragically romantic 'Mathilda'.

Jane Austen what else can be said of Miss Austen besides without her there would not be a market in which for me to make an attempt and for that she as my eternal gratitude.

All my very best to you all,


  1. Remarkable women truly, and I should really read more than Austen

  2. I've never before heard of the first 4 women you mentioned, I will definitely try and find some of their works now.

  3. Wonderful. Thanx. Love your blog!
    And btw, thanx for following at Leyland...

  4. Interesting I Never Knew This. There Is A Exhibition On At The Walker Art Gallery Liverpool. " The Rise Of Women Artists " In That Link There Is Timeline That Is Interesting.
    I Was Pleasantly Surprised By This Exhibition.

    All The Best

  5. Interesting to see which female writers have influenced your writing style. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. I am always so glad when I stop by your blog. I love to learn new things...although I must say, even thinking about a mastectomy in Regency times made me cringe. What a strong woman Fanny must have been.

    Thanks for the post, Simone. I enjoy your blog very much.

  7. Simone, thanks very much for the visit to my site. You couldn't have paid me a more valuable compliment than the remark about my pictures. Seeing beauty in the simple is always my goal.

    I'm fascinated by the women on this post of yours. I know something of all but the first two and, of course, of Jane Austen, after attending so many talks, lectures and reading her books and books about her. I still find her something of an enigma in spite of all my attempts to understand and analyse her world.

  8. Simone

    So glad your blog caught my eye. This post is a fascinating and enlightening read.

    Thank you.

  9. Thank you for widening my knowledge of women writers in history! I'm not sure how you came across my blog, but here is a post I wrote last week I thought might interest you:

    I look forward to perusing your site some more...BEAUTIFUL imagery! Most romantic!


  10. Hello All,
    I'm so very glad to see you all and I'm happy you like the ladies for each are dear to me.
    I'm certain I would not be the writer I am today without their influence.
    I'll off now to visit each of your blogs.
    All my very best,

  11. Wonderful post! Thanks for visiting my blog. I will definitely be frequenting your blog more often :-)

  12. Your blog is beautiful! Thank you so much for visiting. A pure delight!

  13. I've only read some Austen and Shelley from your list--I suppose this will be my Christmas reading list!

    The images are beautiful, too.


  14. Thank you all so very much for your kind words and lovely visit. I'll be sure to stop by your blogs to read and say hello.
    All the very best,