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Women Writers Collection


Women Writers Collection is a collection of the most influential works by women written in English from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century. Many of these titles are considered to be part of the canon of today’s feminism movement.

 
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The Gentlewoman's Companion: Or, A Guide to the Female Sex

By: Hannah Woolley

Fiction

Excerpt: Practical advice for women in all classes and situations. Emphasis on skill rather than education. Blames men for restraining women and encourages girls to think seriously and critically. Presents recipes and medical advice as well as material about social behavior. Topics include bad breath, sore breasts, courtship, jellies, and duties of governesses. Introduction includes biographical material. To all Young Ladies, Gentlewomen, and all Maidens whatever.

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The Heart of Hyacinth

By: Onoto Watanna

Fiction

Excerpt: THE City of Sendai, on the northeastern coast of Japan, raises its head queenly-wise towards the sun, as though conscious of its own matchless beauty and that which envelops it on all sides. Here, where the waters flow into the Pacific, the surges are never heard. Neptune seems to have forgotten his anger in the presence of such peerless beauty.

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The Indian Question

By: Susette La Flesche

Fiction

Excerpt: The solution of the Indian Problem, as it is called, is citizenship. Like all great questions which have agitated the world, the solution is simple; so simple that men cannot understand it. They look for something complicated, something wonderful, as the answer to a question which has puzzled the wisest heads for a hundred years. The question, I believe, is, What shall be done with the Indian? One part of the American people try to solve it by crying, Exterminat...

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The Lady's Looking-Glass: Or, The Whole Art of Charming

By: Aphra Behn

Fiction

Excerpt: Told from the perspective of a looking glass, this text argues against restrictive clothing for women. It also describes female beauty in traditional romantic language while proposing that the corporeal extends beyond physical attributes. The Lady's Looking-Glass, To Dress Herself By: Or, The Art Of Charming How long, O charming Iris! shall I speak in vain of your adorable Beauty? You have been just, and believe I love you with a Passion perfectly tender and ext...

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The Lost Lover

By: Mary De La Riviere Manley

Fiction

Excerpt: THE Lost Lover, &c. ACT I. SCENE 1. The Lady Young-Love's House Enter Wildman and Ready. Wild. I'll stay here till Mr. Wilmore comes in; do you go and see what's to be done at Old Smyrna's; Deliver this Letter to Mrs. Phebe, for her Lady ...

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The Need of Liberal Divorce Laws

By: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Fiction

Excerpt: Within the past few years a new interest has been awakened in questions relating to marriage and divorce, many of the ablest men in England, France, and America taking part in the discussion. In the prolonged debate on the deceased wife's sister's bill, in the British Parliament, we have had the opinions of the leading men of England as to what constitutes marriage, and the best conditions to insure the happiness and stability of home life. In the French Chamber...

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The Romance of Lady Isabel Burton, The Story of Her Life Volume I

By: Lady Isabel Burton

Fiction

Preface: LADY BURTON began her autobiography a few months before she died, but in consequence of rapidly failing health she made little progress with it. After her death, which occurred in the spring of last year, it seemed good to her sister and executrix, Mrs. Fitzgerald, to entrust the unfinished manuscript to me, together with sundry papers and letters, with a view to my compiling the biography. Mrs. Fitzgerald wished me to undertake this work, as I had the good fort...

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The Sick Child

By: Angel De Cora (Hinook-Mahiwi-Kilinaka)

Fiction

Excerpt: IT was about sunset when I, a little child, was sent with a handful of powdered tobacco leaves and red feathers to make an offering to the spirit who had caused the sickness of my little sister. It, had been a long, hard winter, and the snow lay deep on the prairie as far as the eye could reach. The medicine-woman's directions had been that the offering must he laid upon the naked earth, and that to find it I must face toward the setting sun.

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The Stars and Stripes

By: Lydia Maria Child

Fiction

Excerpt: Scene I. [A planter's house, with negro huts in the rear of it. The Fourth of July. On the open lawn, under the shadow of a group of trees, is a pic-nic table spread with fruit, flowers, decanters of wines, &c. Near by, is an arch made of evergreens, with the word LIBERTY interwoven with flowers. A group of Carolinians, at the table, are singing a verse of Adams and Liberty. At the close of the verse, they rise, touch glasses, and swinging them triumphantly, sin...

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The Voyage Out

By: Virginia Woolf

Fiction

Excerpt: As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers' clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty, and it is better not to be very tall, to wear a long blue cloak, or to beat the air with your left hand ?

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The Waves

By: Virginia Woolf

Fiction

Excerpt: The sun had not yet risen. The sea was indistinguishable from the sky, except that the sea was slightly creased as if a cloth had wrinkles in it. Gradually as the sky whitened a dark line lay on the horizon dividing the sea from the sky and the grey cloth became barred with thick strokes moving, one after another, beneath the surface, following each other, pursuing each other, perpetually.

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The Woman's Advocate

By: William P. Tomlinson

Fiction

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The Woman's Era

By: P. Ridley Ruffin

Fiction

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The Years

By: Virginia Woolf

Fiction

Excerpt: It was an uncertain spring. The weather, perpetually changing, sent clouds of blue and of purple flying over the land. In the country farmers, looking at the fields, were apprehensive; in London umbrellas were opened and then shut by people looking up at the sky. But in April such weather was to be expected. Thousands of shop assistants made that remark, as they handed neat parcels to ladies in flounced dresses standing on the other side of the counter at Whitel...

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Three Guineas

By: Virginia Woolf

Fiction

Excerpt: Three years is a long time to leave a letter unanswered, and your letter has been lying without an answer even longer than that. I had hoped that it would answer itself, or that other people would answer it for me. But there it is with its question--How in your opinion are we to prevent war?--still unanswered.

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Three Months in the Sudan

By: Ernestine Sartorius

Fiction

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To the Lighthouse

By: Virginia Woolf

Fiction

Excerpt: ?Yes, of course, if it's fine tomorrow, said Mrs Ramsay. But you'll have to be up with the lark, she added.

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Two Selves

By: W. Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman)

Fiction

Excerpt: Two selves. Jammed against each other, disjointed and ill-fitting. An obedient Nancy with heavy plaits tied over two ears that answered yes, no, yes, no, according as the wind blew. A boy, a brain, that planned adventures and sought wisdom. Two personalities uneasy by their juxtaposition. As happy together as if a sharp sword were thrust into a golf bag for a sheath.

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Under Fate's Wheel

By: Lawrence L. Lynch

Fiction

Excerpt: UNDER FATE'S WHEEL CHAPTER I THE BEGINNING--WHY SHE RODE YOU'LL have to ride slowly, Sergeant Craig--and, tell the bearers to look out for those--those dog-holes. Don't let the men go too fast or unevenly, and be sure you make Harch understand that he will be well paid--paid for all his trouble. You'll be able to make it before sundown--and--that's all, I think. Oh wait! Captain Lewis reins his horse close beside the improvised litter, made of a blanket swung ha...

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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

By: Mary Wollstonecraft

Fiction

Excerpt: DEDICATION To M. Talleyrand-Perigord, Late Bishop Of Autun. Sir, Having read with great pleasure a pamphlet which you have lately published, I dedicate this volume to you; to induce you to reconsider the subject, and maturely weigh what I have advanced respecting the rights of woman and national education: and I call with the firm tone of humanity; for my arguments, Sir, are dictated by a disinterested spirit- I plead for my sex- not for myself. Independence I h...

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