Beyond Brontë: Underappreciated Women Writers, Vol. 2
As promised in yesterday's post, here are some underappreciated women writers to spot at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend.
Honey & Wax Booksellers will bring the self-taught linguist Elizabeth Smith's translation of the Book of Job (1810), the first complete English translation of the Book of Job by a woman, along with her miscellaneous writings. "Smith is kind of fascinating: rather than studying ancient languages in school or with a tutor, she taught herself, using the dictionaries and grammars newly available to everyday readers in the late eighteenth century," said Heather O'Donnell. ($750)
Elizabeth Young (lizzyoung bookseller) will showcase Sister Age by M.F.K. Fisher, "A collection of fifteen stories on the OTHER subject M.F.K. Fisher was intrigued by: the art of aging and living and dying," said Young, adding, "I believe she was pigeonholed into food writing because she was a woman. She was appreciated, but underappreciated as a pure writer." ($225)
Rachel Furnari of Graph Books will exhibit a complete run of Or y Grana, a weekly magazine written and edited by women, and published in Barcelona in 1906-1907. Containing political essays, poetry, fiction, reviews, and illustrations, it is "often identified as the first 'feminist' Catalan publication," and is quite scarce. ($2,250)
A.N. Devers at The Second Shelf will feature Joanna Triall, Spinster by Annie E. Holdsworth, a paperback first edition published in London in 1894. This early feminist novel contains sparkling dialogue:
"Oh! that is absurd. Marriage with me simply meant earning my living in the easiest way. I was twenty and penniless; under such circumstances one naturally falls in love. It is a different thing when one has an income and an establishment, and no need to marry at all."
"You forget the affections, Sarah."
"The affections? The fiddlesticks!"
Holdsworth was an Anglo-Caribbean novelist, born in Jamaica. ($400)
Images courtesy of the booksellers