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A CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE ENGLISH AUTHORESSES
NOTICED IN THIS ESSAY.
Juliana Prioress of Sopewell
1. Margaret Roper
3. Cecilia Heron .. ..
1. Mildred Lady Burleigh ..
4. Catherine Lady Killigrew
gomery .. ..
.. .. ..
1737 1749 1754 1754 1759
Charlotte Smith .. .. .. * Hannah Cowley .. .. ..
Anna Seward .. .. .. ..
Anne Hunter ..
Jane Taylor .. .. .. .,
1717 1749 1743 1742 1773 1742 1740 1783 1795 1743 1750 1762 1750
1760 1777 1783 1794 1794 1800 1803 1806 1806 1809 1809 1810 1821 1821 1822 1825 1825 1825 1827 1828
LITERARY WOMEN OF ENGLAND.
“Look back who list unto the former ages,
SPENSER'S • Ruins of Time.' “ If there be no region of literature, science, or art, where female genius has not distinctly asserted its supremacy, neither perhaps is there any, from poetry to mathematics, in which it has not already greatly distinguished itself. This it has done against all sorts of disadvantages and discouragements, in the face of opinion and prejudice, in despite of means and facilities on the whole very inferior to those which the other sex has enjoyed." - CRAIK's Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties, Female Examples,' pp. 13, 14.
It is a common thing—it is, indeed, the very commonest of all things—that people should live and love those about them, should hope and fear, labour and strive, sicken and die. Yet out of these ever-recurring events, happening to all, come the vast, incalculable, and wonderful diversities of incident which set centuries, ages, cycles, lustres, years, and days in strange contrast with each other, and variously affect the same periods in different climes and countries. Among the innumerable lives ever arising, lapsing, and expiring, there is not, there never has been, there-never
can be, one with which every other has not strong ties of natural sympathy. To know what others did, and felt, and thought, and how they died, concerns every living individual, and more especially to know the history of those whose lot in more than the general features of human likeness resembled their own. Few differences are more wonderful than those between the leaves of the same tree. Hence, the writings of women, apart from the specific purport of those writings, and besides the indications of feminine character which they often afford to the outer world, possess a peculiar charm for young minds of a similar cast; and, the ability to please naturally involving the power to modify and direct, it is evident that the welfare of society must be promoted by an extended knowledge of the lives, principles, and sentiments of the most eminent and excellent English authoresses.
Apart from the knowledge preserved by men, the sensible matrons of England are constantly accumulating family adages, household maxims, and practical apophthegms, for transmission and increase from generation to generation. No observant person can have failed to admire many instances of the wealth of unwritten wisdom thus brought to bear upon domestic conduct. Much more valuable results may therefore reasonably be expected from the records of our choicest women's lives and thoughts; and out of such calm depths may be dredged up precious things, unfaded and unmutilated by the shallow attrition of the world's waves and shingles in their rough tidal flow.
Men stand, as it were, upon a promontory, commanding extensive views, and open to immediate impulses from all above, below, and around them. Women sit like genii of secluded caves, receiving echoes, and communicating mere reverberations from the outer world, but not without