Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing” as Want to Read:
A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  301 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Readers of this new, enlarged edition of the classic feminist study of British women novelists will find themselves delighted by Elaine Showalter's astute and acerbic critical intelligence. Showalter is one of the few scholars who can make her readers rush to their bookshelves to refute her point, or simply to experience again Jane Eyre, The Mill on the Floss, or the bitte ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Virago Press (first published February 1st 1976)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Literature Of Their Own, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Literature Of Their Own

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,046)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
Ebook, read on Open Library.

Think of this as a literature seminar with a really interesting professor who at times will read you passages of books and then tie them all back to the central theme. In addition, you'll get information about the society the books were written in, as well as lots of biographies of various writers. If you haven't read some of the literature (Wuthering Heights, Lady Audley's Secret, etc.) then there will be some spoilers. This however is a good thing, because the focus
Abbi Dion
In Lady Audley's Secret (1862) Mary Braddon's bigamous heroine deserts her child, pushes husband number one down a well, thinks about poisoning husband number two, and sets fire to a hotel in which her other male acquaintances are residing.

The heroine in Rhoda Broughton's Cometh Up as a Flower (1867) Nell Le Strange is witty, exuberant, cheerfully frank, and outspokenly passionate; when she meets a handsome guardsman in the woods, her happiness is "limitless, frenzied, drunken." But he is marri
Barbara Mitchell
During a heat wave you would think I'd be reading something light and "beachy" but no, I've been reading this serious critical look at British women novelists from Bronte to Lessing from a feminist point of view. This is a revised and expanded edition of her original book published in 1977 I believe.

Those early women novelists were admirable, strong women. With all the restrictions on their education and lifestyle, they still managed to write novels that are widely read even today. Jane Eyre, Wu
Let me preface this by saying that I despised Wuthering Heights and feel that probably means I also despise Emily Bronte. That's important here only because the subtitle here is "British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing". I don't want anyone thinking that just because I read this book I automatically swoon over Wuthering Heights. 'Cause I don't.

Moving on. The purpose behind this book of Showalter's is to show that women are on a completely different plane than men. Not in a bad way, though
Lucy Pollard-Gott
One of my favorite books, an eye-opener earlyon as I became better acquainted with the many women novelists, what they wrote and why they wrote. Reading such encyclopedic surveys can be a distinct pleasure when, in this case, it is enlivened by Showalter's passionate advocacy for her subject and sprinkled throughout with her knowledge and wisdom. At about the same time I read the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, so I was on a roll with feminist self-education!
Really solid examination of women's writing (even though that is kind of a cringe category) from Charlotte Bronte to Doris Lessing. It's a classic of literary criticism, especially feminist criticism, and definitely deserves the accolade. I'd have loved to see earlier female authors dealt with, of course--Delarivier Manley, Eliza Haywood, Frances Burney et al.--and I'd also have been interested to see some more in-depth case studies of actual novels; Showalter's strategy is to range widely over ...more
This is one of the classics in feminist literary theory. It's a survey of British women writers, showing how their womanhood shaped their writing. It both confirms and refutes the idea that there is such a thing as "women's literature" It pleased the former English major in me.
Amanda Mecke
Elaine Showalter pioneered women's studies in this book. If you love British novels and haven't read this book, you will discover wonderful writers -- and you will know how lucky we are today that they persevered.
an interesting read, and useful for those who want to know more about women writers in 19-century England.
I mostly read this for its commentary on Virginia Woolf, and I can't say that I was overly impressed. Showalter brings interesting points about Woolf's physicality to light, but I think she does so at the expense of relegating her literature to a kind of anti-autobiography -- only interesting as an exploration of all the ways she should have written about herself (overtly) but didn't. And I think Showalter simply doesn't understand. Doesn't see the complex reality that Woolf weaves, in which the ...more
This basically boils down to a textbook, but it's still a well-written, interesting one. Clearly, Showalter put a lot of love, thought, and research into it, and it shows.

My main critique is that at times, I wished the scope was either much wider, or much smaller. There were many times when Showalter would make minor mentions of an author or a work before moving on to another topic, and I'd be left wishing for more details. Also, the appendix of female author biographies could definitely have be
Evelyn Ke
She failed at the flight to androgyny...
Stephanie Kelley
elaine showalter <33333
It's hard to rate a book you've only read a sliver of in order to argue against the feminist interpretation of Lady Audley's Secret. One star because I have to give it at least a star and another just for the fact that she is such a huge name in the criticism circle.
Masha3el Alshuwaihan
i like the way that she was describing the sitution of women writers , and how the socity reject their talented gift.
Apr 20, 2008 Latha added it
Traces the writings of women and speaks about the different phases of development in 'woman' writing
Important book about women writers.
Joann Aranda
Feb 24, 2010 Joann Aranda is currently reading it
currently reading
Dorothee marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2015
Poppy marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Andrea marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2015
Maftaline marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Catarina marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2015
Addicted to Books
Addicted to Books marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2015
Kristina marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2015
Megan Hoover
Megan Hoover marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
Ingvill is currently reading it
Aug 12, 2015
Mariedeleie marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
Lisa Ditri
Lisa Ditri marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination
  • Northrop Frye on Shakespeare
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • "Sweat"
  • A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America
  • El espejo enterrado
  • Is Heathcliff a Murderer?: Great Puzzles in Nineteenth-Century Fiction
  • Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature
  • How to Suppress Women's Writing
  • Writing a Woman's Life
  • Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel
  • Collected Novellas
  • Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Bestselling Books
  • Great Books for Every Book Lover: 2002 Great Reading Suggestions for the Discriminating Bibliophile
  • The Brontë Myth
  • Faulks on Fiction
  • Imagining Characters: Six Conversations About Women Writers: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Willa Cather, Iris Murdoch, and Toni Morrison
  • 500 Great Books By Women
Elaine Showalter (born 21 January 1941) is an American literary critic, feminist, and writer on cultural and social issues. She is one of the founders of feminist literary criticism in United States academia, developing the concept and practice of gynocritics.

She is well known and respected in both academic and popular cultural fields. She has written and edited numerous books and articles focusse
More about Elaine Showalter...
The Female Malady:  Women, Madness and English Culture 1830-1980 A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx Daughters of Decadence: Women Writers of the Fin-de-Siècle Teaching Literature Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media

Share This Book