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Letters of 19th and 20th Century Women Writers

The 19th and 20th centuries are rich with the literary works of women writers who, previous to that point, were largely dismissed by patriarchal attitudes and other societal restraints. A number of women authors between these two centuries received literary fame for their works, but for many, the recognition of their work has declined over time. A book from the University of Otago in New Zealand, In Her Hand: Letters of Romantic-Era British Women Writers in New Zealand Collections inspired this exhibit as a way to pay respect to women writer's whose names and works have been widely forgotten. In this exhibit, five women writers, Joanna Baillie, Alice Brown, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Louise Imogen Guiney and Sarah Orne Jewett, and their letters are presented. All of these women established themselves in literary circles throughout the United States and the United Kingdom and produced great works of literature, poetry, drama and essays. Through their letters, we gain a glimpse into the personal lives and relationships of these literary experts. All letters are from the Autograph Collection at the Loyola University Chicago Archives and Special Collections.


Sarah Morsheimer - Spring 2015