Suggested Novels by Women Authors 1891-1920 Part 1

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Post by ColleenMc » November 19th, 2020, 1:54 pm

These are taken from a book, Toward a Feminist Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography of Novels in English by Women, 1891-1920 by Diva Daims and Janet Grimes, published in 1982. Basically I've just been going through the listed titles in order and looking for them on four sites: Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, and Google Books (looking for free ebooks only).

A few notes:

1) These are not all the books listed in the bibliography - I've been checking each title but I'm omitting listing the ones that I can't find a an online source for. I'm also skipping over ones already recorded for Librivox.

2) These are also not all the books by the listed authors; I've noticed that there are other books available by some of the authors as I've looked through their works. The authors focused on novels they felt were part of a "feminist tradition" and they describe the principal quality for including a particular book as "unconventional treatment of women characters which focuses attention either on the efforts of women to control their lives or on social attitudes and conditions functioning as counterforces to that achievement." So if you find an author you like through this and want to look for other works by them that might not be included here, feel free to do so! I will make a note if I find other books listed that were not included in the bibliography.

3) Also note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all availabilities of every work. In other words, I search in the order PG-IA-Hathi/Google. If I find a title at Project Gutenberg I don't check all the other sites for that author as well, and if I see other works by that author available at PG, I will mention those, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't additional ones out there on the other sites. So if you fall in love with an author, keep exploring, there are likely more works by her out there!

4) The bibliography as it stands includes over 3400 titles, so it will take me quite a while to work my way through. I will make a periodic post when I've gone through several pages and have some new suggestions.

5) IMPORTANT: the bibliography was published in 1982 and is still under copyright. I'm quoting snippets of plot summaries to give an idea of what the books are about here, but PLEASE DO NOT use them as the "official" book description if you decide to start a recording project with one of the books!

And here we go....


Happy House 1920.

"Two college friends change places, the one visiting the relatives of the other, leaving the other girl free to go to Siberia as a teacher."


Naomi of the Island 1912.

Orphaned girl overcomes hard childhood to earn her way through school and college, and begins a successful career before returning to the island of her birth.
(Note: I actually read this one and enjoyed it quite a bit! There's a lot more plot than this one sentence synopsis implies)


Hadjira: a Turkish Love Story 1896

Purports to be a true story of life in the Turkish harem; publisher says author's real identity must be kept secret to protect her safety.


Mrs. John Vernon: A Study of a Social Situation 1909

"Social life of artistic and musical people in Boston. Main character is a rich widow who married after birth of daughter. The scandal forced her out of society and onto the stage."

(Note: Julia De Wolf Addison appears to be a fairly prolific author, mostly nonfiction dealing with art, art history, and travel. Other books of hers are in PG and IA.)


A Girl Among the Anarchists 1903

"The young woman joins the anarchists in London and edits an anarchist journal. She, the anarchists, their ideals and their doings are all treated sympathetically."


Envious Eliza 1909

"Lady Eliza writes serial shockers. She is a bit envious of women who have children. She is also envious of all the great writers because she is only a writer of popular fiction."

(Note: There were seven books listed by Albanesi/Rowlands, most sounded interesting, but this is the only available at any of the four sites! Boo! However, there are several other novels NOT listed in the bibliography available on Internet Archive, and one ("Capricious Caroline") on PG.)


Bushy: A Romance Founded on Fact 1896

"Becky, daughter of a geologist, accompanies him on his trips...she has all the adventures of a pioneer, trapper, and cowboy."


Note: "Pansy" wrote tons of books, and quite a few have already been recorded here. These are just the ones listed in the bibliography that are not yet recorded. There are plenty more Pansy titles at PG and IA!

Mara 1903

"The love fortunes of four schoolmates. One's fiance marries another woman; one's husband dies on her wedding day; the third learns her fiance is cheating; and the fourth marries a man who turns out to be a Mormon with six other wives." The three single women go to rescue the wife of the Mormon.

Pauline 1901

"The flight of a high-spirited young wife from her husband. Ends in peace and reunion."


Drift 1918

"Eileen Picardy is a 'complex character, a woman weak and restless possessed of many gifts, yet absolutely futile.' She drifts through life and marriage."

(Note: Internet Archive has other works with the same author's name, mostly poetry and works for children. This looks like her only adult novel.)

More soon!

Last edited by ColleenMc on December 17th, 2020, 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

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Post by maxgal » November 20th, 2020, 4:58 pm

About Happy House...
"Two college friends change places, the one visiting the relatives of the other, leaving the other girl free to go to Siberia as a teacher."

" to go to Siberia..." !!! :shock:
"every little breeze..."

Posts: 1966
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » December 17th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Suggestions continued...


The Port of Dreams 1912.

"Story of the Irish support of the Jacobite cause and John Clavering's cowardice on three critical occasions. The young Irish heroine Kathleen Desmond is full of enthusiasm for the cause. It becomes the most important consideration of her life, at the expense, as one reviewer put it, of 'what nature demands of women.'"

The Ripple 1913

"Dierdre's daring adventures and pursuit of hated kinsman across Europe. Set in late 17th century Ireland and northern Germany, when the Jacobites were in turmoil and the Irish hated. Dierdre, raised to hate her Irish countrypeople, is a spit-fire, equal to the perils she faces."


The House of Gladness 1915.

"'Superficially a love story. In reality a plea for the education of girls along useful lines." Because Virginia Tyrell did receive the most adequate kind of education, she is able to support herself when the time comes."


Her Wings 1914

"Georgia Frame and her friend are feminists. They share an apartment and work for the movement. Georgia has a friend from college who is an impoverished widow with a family. A serious work which upholds feminism and marriage."
NOTE: IA has additional books by this author.


Florine; or, The Inner Life of One of the 'Four Hundred'

Published anonymously, author was only listed as "by the author of Mignonnette, The Devil and I, etc.
"A Journal covering Florine's life from age nine to age thirty. It is meant for her daughter to read some day."
Note: IA also has The Devil and I by the same author, and Google Books has Migonnette.

ALSOP, GULIELMA FELL (1881-1978) -- note: due to date of death, won't be PD in death +50/death+70 countries for some time!

My Chinese Days 1918

"An American woman doctor in China, her adventures in fire and flood."

ANDERSON, ADA (WOODRUFF) (1860-1956) -- note: due to date of death, won't be PD in death+70 countries for a few more years!

The Heart of the Red Firs: A Story of the Pacific Northwest 1908

"Alice, of Puget Sound, becomes a teacher, fights a forest fire, rescues her husband, and finds his lost claim."

ANDERSON, MRS. FINLEY 1859-1924 (this is a guess based on finding the one grave of a Finley Anderson at findagrave and then looking at his wife's dates!)

A Woman With a Record: A Novel 1896

"First person account of the life of an adventuress. Lenoir lives in New York, is witty, cynical, enjoys gambling, dinners, theater etc. One of her lovers is stabbed by a jealous friend."


I Pose 1916

"The heroine is a militant suffragist who travels for awhile with a man but leaves him for her work. The author confesses that she loves her heroine very much. Still she shows the heroine attracted to a very unworthy young man. The author constantly interrupts with comments and asides and even with descriptions of her own experiences."

This is the End 1917

"Jay and her brother are wards of Mrs. Gustus, a robust feminist novelist who is quite domestic in real life and who turns her whole life into material for novels. Jay and her brother leave their guardian to work with people in the slums. Jay has high ideals. She questions everything and takes nothing for granted. She is a rebel against conventions, proves her independence in becoming a bus conductor during the war, and seriously considers living with a man."

More soon....
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

miss stav
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Post by miss stav » December 25th, 2020, 7:08 pm

Perhaps it is worth noting that Stella Benson's books are not divided to chapters. I mean This Is The End is not and the second has only 2, as far as my etext could read to me. So the bc who takes them would have to divide them to sections.
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

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