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Women authors classified by country

In the lists generated up to now Dutch authors are over-represented. This has to do with the fact that earlier phases of this collaboration project focused on the reception of women's writing in the Netherlands: while looking for traces of foreign authors finding Dutch readers, we found not only the names (or pseudonyms) and works of many non-Dutch authors, but also an astonishing number of Dutch women, who commented, translated, and adapted the foreign texts. Instead of the average dozen women that appear in current Dutch literary historiography (concerning the periods before 1900), we found more than 700 Dutch names (19th century: 400; 18th: 175; 17th: 100; earlier: 25). This sounds incredible; analyses of the data and detailed study of the reception documents themselves will have to explain these findings and may account for the discrepancy between the numbers of lost and surviving authors. The same phenomenon will, no doubt, be found for authors writing in other languages.

For the other countries, the numbers of authors mentioned in the database WomenWriters are - at the moment - much smaller. Data entry has not taken place in a systematic way: until recently it depended on writers' being received and read in the Netherlands and on individual research interests of NEWW collaborators or occasional information being found by chance. Therefore in a next phase of the collaborative research much work is to be done here. In particular a need remains for continuous comparison of 'new' information and information already present in the database: knowing for instance that often women changed names, one can imagine that there are possibly several records representing one and the same woman. Another complication is in the fact that several women lived and published in different countries and may therefore have been counted 2 or 3 times.

At the time of writing (May 2010) these are the numbers per country, and the year of birth of the "first" of the writers:

Not only are these figures will have to be not only completed, but also compared from one country to another, to those concerning male literary production, and then further understood by going into the records presenting these women's dialogues with their audiences. They serve as starting points for further research and analysis.

Suzan van Dijk, February 2011

  • The production side > Grouped by country

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