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Book cover of 800 Years of Women's Letters

800 Years of Women's Letters

by Olga Kenyon (Editor), P. D. James (Foreword by), P. D. James

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 320
Paperback
ISBN: 9780140233896






Available to Buy

Overview of 800 Years of Women's Letters

In this engrossing anthology, the first truly comprehensive study of women's letters, Olga Kenyon takes us from the twelfth century to the present day and explores the tradition of female letter-writing that has existed for over eight centuries. Here is Heloise writing to Abelard's 'superior wisdom' of 'how much I have lost in you' from twelfth-century Paris; Margaret Paston, the efficient manager of her husband's estate, vividly describing her troubles in affectionate letters to her husband while he was practising law in London during the Wars of the Roses; Elizabeth I firmly but tactfully refusing Erik of Sweden's offer of marriage as she 'highly commends this single life'; Queen Victoria complaining to Sir Robert Peel about the 'disgrace' in the neglect of Buckingham Palace; Jane Austen writing to her sister Cassandra, and Fanny Burney on Dr Johnson; Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf exchanging intimate thoughts on their lives and writing; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu describing how, abandoned by her lover, she rebuilds her life and her garden in Italy 'enjoying every amusement that solitude can afford'; and many more lesser known women whose writing reveals much of their day to day lives and the sometimes restricted world they inhabited. The collection has a wide geographical range: Mary Kingsley writes of her experiences travelling in the Congo, and the voices of women in America, France and Spain, such as George Sand and La Pasionaria, can also be heard. The letters are divided into chapters thematically: How Women View their Roles, Friendship, Childhood and Education, Love and Sexual Passion, Marriage and Childbirth, Housekeeping and Daily Life, Work, War and Alleviating Suffering, Travellers and Travelling, Illness and Ageing, Political Skills. An appendix covers the epistolary novel, and a full bibliography is also included. Both entertaining and informative, the letters reveal the nature of women's lives throughout the centuries...

Synopsis of 800 Years of Women's Letters

In this engrossing anthology, the first truly comprehensive study of women's letters, Olga Kenyon takes us from the twelfth century to the present day and explores the tradition of female letter-writing that has existed for over eight centuries. Here is Heloise writing to Abelard's 'superior wisdom' of 'how much I have lost in you' from twelfth-century Paris; Margaret Paston, the efficient manager of her husband's estate, vividly describing her troubles in affectionate letters to her husband while he was practising law in London during the Wars of the Roses; Elizabeth I firmly but tactfully refusing Erik of Sweden's offer of marriage as she 'highly commends this single life'; Queen Victoria complaining to Sir Robert Peel about the 'disgrace' in the neglect of Buckingham Palace; Jane Austen writing to her sister Cassandra, and Fanny Burney on Dr Johnson; Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf exchanging intimate thoughts on their lives and writing; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu describing how, abandoned by her lover, she rebuilds her life and her garden in Italy 'enjoying every amusement that solitude can afford'; and many more lesser known women whose writing reveals much of their day to day lives and the sometimes restricted world they inhabited. The collection has a wide geographical range: Mary Kingsley writes of her experiences travelling in the Congo, and the voices of women in America, France and Spain, such as George Sand and La Pasionaria, can also be heard. The letters are divided into chapters thematically: How Women View their Roles, Friendship, Childhood and Education, Love and Sexual Passion, Marriage and Childbirth, Housekeeping and Daily Life, Work, War and Alleviating Suffering, Travellers and Travelling, Illness and Ageing, Political Skills. An appendix covers the epistolary novel, and a full bibliography is also included. Both entertaining and informative, the letters reveal the nature of women's lives throughout the centuries...

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