Jump to: navigation, search

NEWW : short presentation

Aim of database creation and data entry

Provide a possibility for "complete" overview of female participation in European literary field before 1900.

Particular attention for:

  • possible cohesion of female "networks"?
  • relationships toward male individuals and institutions?


Women in the literary field of pre-1900 Europe:
2365 names "found" up to now.

Focus on the Netherlands:
766 Dutch "authors".


see "Sources", left side

Importance of these numbers?

Comparison female/male:

198 women active during the 18th century;

DBNL (Digital Library of Dutch Literature):
names starting with A:

  • 62 male authors;
  • 2 women authors;
  • 1 woman not mentioned in DBNL: Johanna Avinck.

Their "canonical" status?

76 authors mentioned in P.C. Molhuysen and P.J. Blok (eds.), Nieuw Nederlandsch biografisch woordenboek. Leiden, 1911-1937, 10 vols.

113 authors mentioned by K. ter Laan, Letterkundig woordenboek. The Hague, 1941.

126 authors mentioned in R. Schenkeveld, K. Porteman, L. van Gemert, P. Couttenier (eds.), Met en zonder lauwerkrans. Amsterdam, 1997 (anthology of Dutch women's writing 1550-1850).

Their authorship?

189 authors of verse

7 women who wrote for children

5 women publishing in periodicals

14 possible contributors to feminist press

156 Dutch translators

7 journalists


395 women's translations of foreign women's writing into Dutch

232 Dutch women's comments on texts by women

Work in progress....

Their professionalism

Cf. Nathalie Grande, Stratégies de romancières. Paris, 1999:
diversité des parcours au XVIIe siècle
1. Les "occasionnelles", dont Madame de Marcé
2. Les amatrices, dont Madame de Salvan
3. les professionnelles, notamment "La Sapho de ce siècle: Mlle de Scudéry"

A framework to study them

Cf. Alain Brunn, L'auteur. Textes choisis. Paris, 2001 (mentioned by Alicia Montoya, Après Corneille, après Racine. Diss. Leiden 2005; Publ. Paris 2007)
trois dimensions de la figure de l'auteur
1. dimension historique: la figure biographique
2. dimension institutionnelle: l'autorité reconnue
3. dimension idéologique: la fonction construite par l'oeuvre

Replacing them in history

Cf. Margaret Cohen, "Women and fiction in the nineteenth century", in Timothy Unwinn, The Cambridge Companion to the French Novel from 1800 to the Present. Cambridge, 1997, p. 54-55
"Women figure with greatest distinction among modern novelists", wrote Marie-Joseph de Chénier in his 1816 survey of "the state and progress of French literature" since the French Revolution. [.../..]
If twentieth-century literary histories mention women writers' dominance in the novel during the first part of the nineteenth century, it is to dismiss their works' aesthetic claims. [...] But the most celebrated novels of the early nineteenth century belonged to the well-established subgenre which was characterised by its own coherent aesthetic. [...]

SvD, November 2007

  • Conferences > NEWW November meetings > 2007 > Van Dijk

Personal tools