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Self-Made Women

John Sutherland

11 July 1991
The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... tacitly corrects previous reference sources. The bulk of the entries, apparently, were principally written by the three executive editors (Isobel Grundy taking responsibility for the early period, VirginiaBlain for the Victorian and Edwardian periods, Patricia Clements for the 20th century). The supporting mass of scholars, one gathers, was used for the more exotic writers and for fact-checking. As a ...

A Favourite of the Laws

Ruth Bernard Yeazell

13 June 1991
Married Women’s Separate Property in England, 1660-1833 
by Susan Staves.
Harvard, 290 pp., £27.95, April 1990, 0 674 55088 9
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The Bluestocking Circle: Women, Friendship and the Life of the Mind in 18th-century England 
by Sylvia Harcstark Myers.
Oxford, 342 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 19 811767 1
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Portrait of a Friendship: Drawn from New Letters of James Russell Lowell to Sybella Lady Lyttleton 1881-1891 
by Alethea Hayter.
Michael Russell, 267 pp., £16.95, September 1990, 0 85955 167 9
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Fierce Communion: Family and Community in Early America 
by Helena Wall.
Harvard, 243 pp., £23.95, August 1990, 0 674 29958 2
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... that the interested reader is likely to obtain a clearer impression of these women’s contributions by consulting the relevant brief entries in the recent Feminist Companion to Literature, edited by VirginiaBlain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy.* As a critic, Myers confines herself largely to paraphrase; her occasional glosses are flat and pedestrian. The strongest part of the book is the ...

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