Not Just Jane

Not Just Jane

Rediscovering Seven Amazing Women Writers Who Transformed British Literature

Book - 2016
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"Keynote Jane Austen and the Brontës endure as the leading ladies of English literature, but why are these reclusive parsons' daughters the only ones we remember? Funny and fascinating, Shelley DeWees's nonfiction debut, Not Just Jane, revisits British history through the extraordinary lives and work of seven long-forgotten authoresses--and wonders why they, and so many others, faded into obscurity (and what we are missing because of it)"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2016
ISBN: 9780062394620
0062394622
Branch Call Number: 820.9928 DeWe
Characteristics: 320 pages

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becker
Dec 31, 2016

This book offers mini biographies on 7 different women who were all respected and successful authors in the 1800's and who have since, disappeared into history. Each of the women's profiles were interesting unto themselves but the book overall presented a great snapshot of the life and times of Victorian England. I found it very interesting and readable.

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shayshortt
Dec 09, 2016

Not Just Jane is at its weakest when it tries to explain why they are not remembered, but shines when the women themselves step to the forefront. DeWees ably highlights the gaps in our knowledge as she advocates for an expansion of the canon.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2016/12/08/not-just-jane/

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mammothhawk229e
Dec 04, 2016

Thanks to DeWees, I finally started reading my personal copy of John Halifax, gentleman.

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shayshortt
Dec 09, 2016

Everyone has heard of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, perhaps the most famous women writers in British literature. All have been the subject of film and television adaptations, and Jane Austen will grace the new £10 bank note being released in Britain in 2017. But do you know Sara Coleridge (yes, she is related to Samuel Taylor) or Catherine Crowe? Perhaps you’ve heard of King George IV’s scandalous mistress, the actress Mary Robinson, but didn’t realize she was also a writer? Shelley DeWees selects seven British women writers of the Romantic and Victorian periods who were at least as famous as Austen and the Brontës during their lifetimes, if not more so, and often outsold them. Not Just Jane shines a light on their less-remembered works, while also showing the difficulties women faced in becoming writers, and the censure they faced when they succeeded.

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shayshortt
Dec 09, 2016

Of all the wonderful things I experienced during this journey, the best occurred at the end, as I stood in front of a bookshelf full of new titles, each of which introduced me to new women, new worlds, new windows into British history.

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