Finding a voice: women playwrights and theatre
DOI link for Finding a voice: women playwrights and theatre
Finding a voice: women playwrights and theatre book
Women writers have been formative in the development of the novel as a literary genre. With the rise of a leisured class in the eighteenth century, the occupation of novel-writing (and the more ‘private’ forms of diary-and letter-writing) was taken up by these new ladies of leisure. Their contemporary reading public also consisted largely of such women, writing and reading in private, leaving the public world of book publishing and distribution to men. As Victorian attitudes to women hardened in the nineteenth century, women novelists, whose work had become more important, had a contradictory situation to deal with. Their work was being published and widely read and acclaimed, but the very fact that they were women called for censure-the use of the male pseudonym was a response to a double standard: the work was in demand but there was misogynistic resentment at the women writing it. Such women were transgressing the Victorian belief that womanhood should be a passive vocation in itself.