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800 Years of Women's Letters (Biography, Letters and Diaries) Paperback – 10 Jan 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (10 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750907258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750907255
  • Package Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,810,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

OLGA KENYON is a well-respected writer and academic. She has lectured at Bradford University and Morley College, where she was Head of Humanities. She has also lectured for the Open University, specialising in Women's Literature. She lives in Manchester. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
'800 years of Women's letters' by Olga Kenyon is a truly fascinating and comprehensive study of women's letters reveals the nature of women's lives from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Entertaining and informative the book covers a geographic span from France to America and down to Mary Kingsley travelling in the Congo. There are many letters written here in Britain, from Jane Austen et al to contemporary writers Fay Weldon and Elaine Feinstein, including also the first female letter known from Roman Britain celebrating women's friendship.

Olga Kenyon's intention is to show that women's letters are a valid form of literature, despite still being relatively neglected, compared to poetry and novels, and she achieves this admirably. Taking account of the feminist approach, studying the older letters for their difference from the present also helps toward our understanding both of the past and of gender formation.

The book is divided into eleven main sections; each section includes an insightful introduction by Olga Kenyon. The letters cover such topics as: How women view their roles, Love and Sexual Passion, Work, War and Alleviating suffering and Political skills.

There are for instance letters from Aphra Benn, (the first professional woman writer in England) forced to ask for money to cover her expenses; Mrs Gaskell considers the balance between housekeeping duties and individual development; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu writes of on her first visit to a Turkish Bath in 1717 (she is perhaps the most interesting letter writer in the English language, though no books of hers were in print when this book was published in 1992).
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Format: Paperback
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In this engrossing anthology, the first truly comprehensive study of women's letters, Olga kenyon explores the tradition of female letter-writing from the 12th century to the presetn day.

One of the few 'allowable' forms of written expressioin open to women until the 18th century.

these private letters deal in daily life, their sorrows and joys, small achievments and the great rites of passage of birth, death and marriage.

Includes: Heloise, Margaret Paston, Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and many many more...

A Must for any collection!

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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. Arranged according to subject areas (such as Friendship, Marriage and Childbirth, Travellers and Travelling, and Political Skills) it contains a fascinating and insightful guide to the lives of women from the thirteenth century to the present day. It covers a wide variety of lifestyles from the rich and famous to the nun and factory worker, and relationships, with women writing to family members, lovers, husbands, friends and notable figures in society. Many of the letters come from abroad (USA, Spain, France, Nigeria) and so also allow the reader to compare lives geographically. The best thing, however, is that it shows women reflecting and commenting upon their own lives, often in candid and surprising ways. Olga Kenyon provides a lucid and intelligent commentary which serves to highlight the social and political importance of the material, whilst refraining from interfering with the voices contained within it. Highly recommended for the scholar or interested leisure reader alike.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book ( in fact I bought 5 altogether) as a present / presents for women who I love and respect. They have all been thrilled by the quality and range of the extracts chosen. I myself, think the forward is superbly written and wonderfully thought provoking.
A great book to own or to give to anyone who enjoys being inspired by the reflections of people from other ages .
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