Publication Date: 13/10/2022 ISBN: 9780861542932 Category:

Eve Bites Back

Anna Beer

Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication Date: 13/10/2022 ISBN: 9780861542932 Category:


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Margery Kempe. Aemilia Lanyer. Aphra Behn. Lady Mary. Jane Austen.

Warned not to write – and certainly not to bite – these women put pen to paper anyway and wrote themselves into history.

‘Smart, funny and highly readable… a tour de force.’ A.L. Kennedy

Ever since Sappho first put stylus to papyrus, women who write have been labelled mad, undisciplined and dangerous. Funny and provocative, Eve Bites Back offers an alternative history of English literature. Placing the female contemporaries of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton centre stage, Anna Beer builds a vibrant new canon through Restoration wits, scandalous sensation novelists and medieval mystics.

Delving into the lives and work of eight pioneers – Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Aemilia Lanyer, Anne Bradstreet, Aphra Behn, Mary Wortley Montagu, Jane Austen and Mary Elizabeth Braddon – Beer uncovers the struggles and triumphs of these gamechangers, ground-breakers and genre-makers.

Publisher Review

'Essential reading.' -- Claire Tomalin 'A smart, funny and highly readable journey through the lives of women writers and the challenges they and their works face. It's an informative, enthusiastic and rightly enraging tour de force.' -- A.L. Kennedy 'A totally absorbing and enlightening tour through the work of eight significant women authors - with one of the funniest introductory chapters ever.' -- Sarah Bakewell 'Startling stories and facts on every page. Written with a clear and authoritative voice, this is both a very entertaining and very important book about the many obstacles that women have overcome to be writers, and the long struggles even the most gifted and well-connected women authors have encountered in order to be taken seriously.' -- Yasmin Khan, associate professor of history, University of Oxford 'Writing with energy, wit and at times barely suppressed fury, Anna Beer brings to life the struggle to be heard of eight women writers over 500 years. Her subtle literary excavations are both informative and a gripping read.' -- David Goodhart, founder editor of Prospect and author of Head, Hand, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century Anna Beer is one of those very rare writers who are able to combine rigorous research with a gripping and thoroughly accessible style. This is an ambitious, authoritative, feisty book and a worthy successor to her inspirational Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music. -- Kate Kennedy, author of Dweller in Shadows

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