Female Authors

There was once a site entitled “Other Women’s Voices” by Dorothy Disse. It is now only accessible on the Way Back Internet Archive. I thought that my readers might enjoy some of the information so I have begun to archive it here as well. Here is what Nora Jaffery wrote about Dorothy’s research:

This website offers substantial excerpts and more than 120 writings from around the world. Its most valuable feature is this abundant accumulation of texts that women themselves have generated from such a wide array of times and places. The texts span from 2300 BCE to the early 18th century, with about half of them written after 1400. There is a fair amount of geographic breadth included, particularly in the earlier periods. The site includes women?s voices from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, although European texts have virtually exclusive representation from the 1400s onward.

The majority of women whose works are reproduced were nobility, but writings from other women have survived and are also presented here. Examples include the works of Sei Shonagon, a prominent literary figure and attendant at the Japanese court in the 10th century, and Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya, of Basra, Iraq, who may have been a freed slave living in the 700s. The diverse group of women selected and their treatment of various subjects serve to broaden the site further. Available texts include drama, prose, poetry, biography, visionary literature, history, memoirs, and letters.

 

I also love this website: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/_generate/3000BC-1000.html where they have excerpts of ancient female writers, too.

Here is a (work in progress) list of the women Dorothy Disse has researched:

 

Sappho (c.600 BCE)

“SOMEONE IN ANOTHER TIME WILL REMEMBER US.”

Ban Zhao  /Pan Chao /Cao Dagu (45/48-bef.120 CE)

“MUST NOT A WOMAN ACT CAREFULLY!”

Perpetua /Vibia Perpetua (d.203 CE)

“ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CONTEST ITSELF, LET HIM WRITE OF IT WHO WILL”

Egeria /Etheria /Aetheria (fl. 380s?)

“LADIES, LIGHT OF MY HEART,… DO NOT FORGET ME.”

Laila Akhyaliyya /Layla al-Akhyaliyyah (died c.704)

“HE WAS HONEY—NO, I SEE A BEEHIVE HIS LIKENESS.”

Kassia /Kassiane /-ni /Casia /Icasia (c.810-bef.867)

“I HATE SILENCE WHEN IT IS A TIME FOR SPEAKING.”

Marguerite d’Oingt (d.1310)

“NOW IMAGINE HIS GREAT BEAUTY.”

Catherine of Siena /Caterina Benincasa (1347-1380)

“LET THE TRUTH BE YOUR DELIGHT…. PROCLAIM IT…, BUT WITH A CERTAIN CONGENIALITY.”

Leonor Lopez de Cordoba (1362/3-aft.1414)

“ALL THAT IS WRITTEN HERE IS TRUE, FOR I SAW IT AND IT HAPPENED TO ME.”

Christine de Pizan /Pisan (c.1364-aft.1429)

“NOW I WANT BOOKS BROUGHT FORTH FROM YOU WHICH WILL PRESENT YOUR MEMORY.”

Bartolomea Riccoboni (c.1369-1440)

“FOLLOW THROUGH ON THIS GOOD BEGINNING.”

Alessandra Macinghi Strozzi (1407/8-1471)

“SENSIBLE PEOPLE DON’T TAKE ANY CHANCES.”

Catherine of Bologna /Caterina Vigri /Vegri (1413-1463)

“I HAVE BEEN MOVED TO WRITE THE PRESENT LITTLE BOOK AS A WARNING AND INSTRUCTION.”

Teresa de Cartagena (mid-1400s)

“…AN ISLAND WHERE I HAVE LIVED FOR SO MANY YEARS—IF LIFE THIS CAN BE CALLED.”

Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’ Medici (1425-1482)

“BE ALERT, LISTENER, WITH READY INTELLECT.”

Margaret Mauteby Paston (d.1484), et al.: Agnes Berry Paston (d.1479), Elizabeth Paston Poynings (c.1429-1488), Margery Brews Paston (d.1495)

“I WOULD YE WERE AT HOME… LEVER THAT A GOWN, THOUGH IT WERE OF SCARLET.”

Catherine of Genoa /Caterina Fieschi Adorno (1447-1510)

“NOW I WILL ONCE MORE BE IN CHARGE.”

Antonia Pulci (1452-1501)

“YOU CAN DERIVE MUCH PLEASURE FROM IT AND MUCH FRUIT.”

Cassandra Fedele (1465-1558)

“I CAN RENDER MYSELF IMMORTAL AND HAPPY IN THIS LIFE.”

Laura Cereta /Cereto (1469-1499)

“THEY DENY… THAT ANY WOMAN MIGHT MASTER THE MOST ELEGANT ELEMENTS OF ROMAN ORATORY.”

Veronica Gambara (1485-1550)

“WAR IS WAGED SO FIERCELY THAT REASON SWIFTLY TAKES HER LEAVE.”

Vittoria Colonna, Marchesa di Pescara (1490-1547)

“LIKE IVY WHOSE SUPPORTS ARE BURNED AND BROKEN….”

Marguerite de Navarre /Marguerite d’Angouleme (1492-1549)

“NOW I OBSERVED THE MAJESTY OF KINGS.”

Mirabai  /Mira /Meera (c.1498-aft.1550)

“IT’S TIME TO TAKE MY SONGS INTO THE STREET.”

Tullia d’Aragona (c.1510-1556)

“DO YOU NOT THINK THAT SHE ALSO GAVE ME THE DESIRE FOR HONOR AND HIGH INTELLECT?”

Teresa of Avila /Teresa de Ahumada /Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582)

“THEY HAD BETTER CANONIZE SOME OTHER NUN.”

Isabella Morra /di Morra (1516/20-1545/6)

“I WHO… SPEND MY TIME WITHOUT ANY PRAISE.”

Gaspara Stampa (c.1523-1554)

“LET THIS SUFFICE YOU, THAT IT MAKES YOU WRITE.”

Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre /Jehanne de Navarre (1528-1572)

“THESE, MADAME, ARE THE… REASONS… I HAVE TAKEN TO ARMS.”

Veronica Franco (c.1546-1591)

“I RESOLVED TO MAKE A VIRTUE OF MY NEED.”

Moderata Fonte /Modesta Pozzo Zorzi (1555-1592)

“IT’S GOOD FOR US TO LEARN ABOUT THESE THINGS, SO WE CAN LOOK AFTER OURSELVES WITHOUT NEEDING HELP FROM MEN.”

Isabella Canali Andreini (1562-1604)

“OH, WHAT CAN’T A WOMAN DO?”

Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor (1590?-aft.1647)

“… BECAUSE THERE’S NO ONE ELSE WHO DOES DEFEND WOMEN.”

 

 

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