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 November 20th, 2020, 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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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..."

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