We have come to the end

I decided to dedicate a post to my thoughts and feelings on the course as a whole.

I will start by saying I developed more of an appreciate for female writers and a greater understanding for what type of female writers I enjoy more. I commend

 the women who spoke out and were more radical in their writing but I am an old soul at heart and cannot gravitate away from the traditional themes. I enjoyed Virginia Woolf, Aphra Behn, Katherine Philips, and Queen Elizabeth. They are the ones that stood out to me.

What I learned: More about the traditions of women’s writing, the certain characteristics specific to female writers, and the continuity of female writers.

Also the “Master’s tool idea” “women could not tinker with the tools, can they use the tools in a meaningful way or not?”

What it means to be a female writer: in my mind it mean defying gender stereotypes, being independent, a thinker, a dreamer, a creator, and courageous( during the 17th century). Women had to figuratively fight/demand to be writers. For those that wrote through men, meant their passion spoke more than the recognition as a writer.

What also was interesting is how different women were, meaning you would expect women to be quite similar during that period because of society’s boundaries, but in all common sense they are not and they were not afraid or ashamed to be who they are.  The themes varied, the tones spoke words of experience and intelligence, and that females writers earned their place in courses such as this one.


More on Philips, what is lacking


While I have been working on my Wiki assignment I have been learning the importance of accurate information not just from one source but from multiple. Not that I did not know accurate information is important but the fact that Philips is more of an obscure writer than say Queen Elizabeth information about her is rare. I really have to look in deep for her. Another frightening fact is how we are not all scholars with access to scholarly articles ie through UNB libraries, to say what would “we” do if we did not have access to this sort of information-settle for what “may” be right?

Well that is it for now, hats off to those who write accurate information in Wikipedia articles.


SORRY FOR THE LANGUAGE ON THE PHOTO-but I included it to show how despite how people should not, but they do rely on Wikipedia.

Making Progress on Katherine

I have been working on my Wiki assignment which is on Katherine Philips. What a marvelous woman. Sadly there is little information floating around the internet world on her. No surprise there. That is one of the reasons I decided to go with sort of the opposite of my library assignment which was on Queen Elizabeth. I wanted to add to the assignment rather than simply going over it. I find Katherine interesting because of her strong admiration and love for her friendships. You would expect women to write of love with their husband or man they desired but she seems more interested in the friends she makes and looses. It actually seems more heartbreaking, for me at least, becausee it does not seem as traditional, she ‘must’ be speaking from the hear–real feelings. Anyways I will continue with my thoughts on Katherine as I finish my assignment, but for now, as always.


Fanny & the Bluestockings

Fanny Burney

I have realized was “wickedly funny”  especially in her “Evelina” (1778). Also she had an influence on Jane Austen, JANE AUSTEN! I adore Jane Austen 🙂 Even Virginia Woolf admired her. Sadly her thriving personality was put to an end with her other novels because of her father’s disapproval. I am glad she was acknowledged more for what she did than what she did not do. I was impressed with the amount of work she accomplished with all the criticism from her father, which at that time would have had a major influence or shall I say control over her. More so, with how she was self-educated, with no formal education, she became renown on her own accord.

Check this out-completely dedicated to Fanny: http://theburneysociety-uk.net/

Even has a membership 😛



Blue Stockings

I had never heard of the Blue Stockings society prior to this class, but I sort of assumed there must have been groups such as these hiding among society. Of course I assumed it may have been a tad bit more low-key, but proud that it was as influential as it was. I say know I would have been interested if I was a woman of that time. It must have been so empowering to not only sit and express your thoughts beyond the confines of society plus even with men “beyond” your status. But it was still conventional because it only being women of upper/and prestige middle class.

A question was asked and I thought it was very crucial that women allowed significant men to join the Blue Stockings society, because it is all known that if it was the other way around men would not allow women to co-mingle with men, especially in an intellectual manner. This proves how different some men were at that time compared to women.

I discovered that there is a chapter in Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley titled “The First Blue-Stocking” (ponder that)

And to this day there is still so much support for the Blue Stockings society, it was not hard to find at least some general information on it, and there are endless society’s that have come from the traditional Blue Stockings


Manly Manley

Before reading Manely’s Rivella I did some research on her, I always like to know more about the author before delving into a read, just because I find it gives more meaning and understanding. I found it especially useful for this long read…because…

Manely, a controversial woman, took over the traditional male satire format/amatory fiction satirizing political Whig figures. She established herself as an accomplished author and free-will woman. She explored many themes in novels demonstrating her broad and varied mind.

The Adventures of Rivella is believed to be an autobiography. Manley tells the story of Rivella through the eyes of a male. Rivella’s character is conflicting in the beginning of the story: she is described as alluring, yet she suffered from small pox, which has scarred her. There are many events and characters to keep the story detailed and confusing. Manley continues her liking of satires, where actual people are the fictional characters in the story. She discusses actual events, comments about herself, and gives information about contemporary individuals which is confusing yet would have been very radical at her time.

My favourite quote is “what is not a crime in men is scandalous and unpardonable in woman”

Manley is a very interesting writer, her names and dialogue keeps the reader interested. She offers a lot of attitude and quirk to the story. I think that is what allowed me to keep reading.


until next time

The Not So Virgin Marys

Well sadly march break  was not much of a “break” for me at least, but I am dedicated and will catch up on my blogs. Last class we discussed some what on the life of both Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft wrote the Vindication of the Rights of Women(where she made very radical/modern statements on society and marriage concerning women), her influence went beyond the contribution to feminism. According to my research she was particularly favoured by others, thus she was more respected when she was dead than alive. She is seen as an Enlightenment moral and political thinker. Her works can be seen as important contributions to society. It was when she wrote the Vindication of the Rights of Woman where she was seen as a radical writer and grabbed attention of others.  I salute Wollstonecraft for calling a much-needed “public discussion” because of the ideas/beliefs she brought forth in the Vindication of the Rights of Women. She was a flavourful and indecisive woman in life, but she knew what she wanted and she changed accordingly.

Astell was the “British Feminist” she published works on women’s education and marriage, similar to Wollstonecraft. Again, similar to Wollstonecraft had radical ideas concerning women. Astell was aggressive and confident. Astell was respected in her lifetime.

These women are great inclusions into the study of Women in Literature. It is important for students to study women who were courageous, radical, and were confident in the beliefs. I enjoy reading works by women such as these, but call me old-fashion but I like “traditional” women, writing about “traditional” things you can say it… :S

From that, it takes me to my Wiki assignment where I will be taking on the lady Katherine Philips


Enjoy the rest of your March Break

masked women make for greater fun

Aphra Behn does it again in “The Rover” she slyly and non-traditional weaves a deliciously witty and rough around the edges story. Behn does a terrific job at illustrating a different perspective about marriage and courtship. I enjoyed the idea of Hellena

and Florinda wearing masks to hide their identity, it shows how women of the time are judged upon their appearance. Behn’s characters were strategically using the masks as a source of freedom and movement from their other lifestyle. The life of the underworld is so interesting for the ladies, and the reader. It perhaps symbolizes sensuality, forbidden, and independence. Although dark and forbidden this story is, Behn seems to not be able to help herself by including some humour “There’s no sinner like a young saint”

The story also has a great shock-affect. The many “almost-rape” scenes are indeed questionable. Of course it would not be proper or even condoned to include an actual rape scene, but Aphra goes as far as she can. It’s almost as if she writes everything under the intention that she would include as much themes and ideas that are radical as she can. She has an incredible contemporary mind-set. Another notable thing is how despite Behn being so unconventional, the story still centralizes around love-what was appropriate for female writers.

And as does every “love” story it ends with a happily ever after so to speak ( Hellena and Willmore).

I also thought to be interesting is how Willmore and Blunt nearly rape Florinda, because she is too virtuous? Seriously… and Hellena is safe because she can hide behind this facade as a gypsy/and her wit. By the way I love gypsies. I definitely could see this story as very theatrical especially for the time.

Who is the Rover, all of the male characters are entirely indistinguishable, perhaps Willmore? Behn puts her female characters in the limelight. The female characters have more personality and vary in character in comparison to the male characters.

With all that being said, Behn never seizes to surprise me!

ps. I would definitely go and see this play!


A two sided coin


Last lecture was about the good girls and the not so good girls

At first I instantly assumed Behn and Cavendish would be the bad girls and Philips would be the good girl. Of course in retrospect Philips is innocent compared to the other two lovely ladies, because of her topics of “choice”: relationships, nothing political, no classical allusions-basically appropriate things for a female writer. When I study/read very different female writers, I often think why does one girl choose one path (more radical) than the other. Obviously, there would have to be a reason, could it just be personality, or a past experience that drove “her” to not conform to social norms.

Despite how “good girl” Philips is let me reintroduce “against love” I do not see how that poem could be considered a poem that a traditional female would write. Judging by the title is the initial give away. Of course she stays within the boundaries of love and conventional diction, but she is not particularly speaking for the approved relationship between male and female. It is against love, unlike the traditional sonnet. Even in form she slightly breaks from the conventional form, key being “slightly” because in itself Philips is only merely breaking from the social norms for female writers. Also, I highly agree with what Dr. Jones said she is being a writer, speaking out, not being the passive, unspoken woman.


A Flemish tapestry (circa 1520) depicts the triumph of Death (represented here by the three Fates of Greek myth) over Chastity, a symbol in Petrarch’s work The Triumphs. First Love triumphs, thenChastity triumphs over Love, then Chastity is overcome by Death,Death by FameFame by Time, and Time by Eternity.

The description of this image to the left is above, I am aware that this has nothing to do with what we have/are discussing, but when I was browsing through photos of Philips I came across this and my first thought was how it made me think of Behn,Cavendish, and (somewhat) Philips. The picture would then symbolize women who have challenged societies norms and see themselves above (figuratively/literally in the case of the picture) women that seek no challenge, no voice, no self. Maybe you all may think I am crazy, but that is what I visualized.

Furthermore, Philips carries on with her not so lady like poem ” To one persuading a lady to marry” I see it as this a female writer that intended to follow the rules would not be elevating a woman over a man and she would see marriage as something you just had to do and no disputing.

Perhaps I am ranting and making no sense but is that not what a blog is for? For me to express my thoughts and ideas even if people do not agree. ANYWAYS…

Behn, no shocker there. We all know what type of lady she is…looking over the “Unforgettable happy lady” I see she may be a lady that tells tall tales, kidding.

In the end the award of outstanding reputation goes to….the lady that only goes so far PHILIPS. I respect Cavendish and Behn for all that they say and feel, but I enjoy Philips more so. When I say that all I can think of is how everyone supposedly thought she was boring.

I’m off



“Here all alone…broken hearts”

Lanyer’s ” The Description of a Cooke-ham” shows her unique perspective. I personally enjoy how she personifies nature and when Lady Margaret leaves it seems as though nature is mourning the loss. I also peculiar that the Lady of the house seems to be too perfect to be real. perhaps poets write to flatter patrons in order to gain their favour-the idea that nature is emotionally sensitive-not that I agree with that because it is my ultimate favourite device!!!!!!!!!!!! personification-it brings more than life to the poem, the descriptions seem to be engaging, heart-felt, and it gives the message an extra oomph!

The format flows so nicely that it makes it a breeze to read, so the reader can take everything in rather than being distracted by chaotic style.


Lady Mary Wroth, an intelligent yet promiscuous spirit. I found Wroth’s sweet yet gloomy poem Unseen, Unknown seems to reveal her own feelings. Perhaps it is just me but I read it and cannot help but see it as her own thoughts and feelings, or at least something she has experienced. She is definitely depressed! Her poems depict the stereotypical idea of poetry “wasting as this light” “eternall night”…this lady has no hope.

Dorothy Dorothy Dorothy…I was pleased to read that her and William were actually attracted to each other and she wrote 77 letters to him. She was an english gentlewoman, I found she was lively and humourous.

A group of fine ladies

Anne: a poet and a protestant–died a heretic

Elizabeth I-a fine lady by birth.

Isabella: earliest identified woman to have published secular poetry in the English Language

Jane-only evidence of her extant is “Her Protection for Woman” pamphlet

Mary: very educated and well favoured by Elizabeth I

All of these woman make me proud-in a way that urges me to read more and more about them. These particular readings gave me a thought/feeling. How important it is to have such a class as this. Also, how great it is to have an english course with a different perspective from other english courses. I tend to only be assigned readings by men-for obvious reasons. One woman where not allowed to write, woman were not allowed to be published etc all depending on the era. Anyways back to my first thought, I found it necessary  to list all the writers of this week and provide a or a few facts about them, essentially to show how different they are yet the same. They all stood the test of time and lived on in my time as woman who was gifted and deserved to be forever remembered.

Mary’s “The Dolefull Lay of Clorinda” illustrated great style/form in my opinion. Poem illustrates a desperate plea to “whom shall I my case complaine?” The rhyme scheme allows it to flow exceptionally well that plays upon the highly structured form, which in turn emphasizes the tone and emotion of “paine” “griefe” “mourne” and “desolate”. I thrive on poems where the poem seems to convey the form in a highly structured way as almost a plea or hint to what he/she desires. The only thing Mary can control is her structure as her feelings and emotions take fold.

And I cannot end this post by not mentioning one of my favourite queens, Victoria being the first, Elizabeth. Such a clever girl, her voice is strong and authoritative. As a reader you can hear and feel her presence, she makes me proud. Her speeches especially evoke such a presence that its hard not to imagine how she would be-her voice and her actions.


Thank you english 3621 for not allowing woman such as these not to be discussed in english courses!