The "exemplary women" tradition  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The "exemplary women" tradition in literature catalogs and discusses women of outstanding moral character

List

  • Hesiod, Catalogue of Women (attr.)
  • Heroides by Ovid
  • Plutarch, in Moralia
  • Boccaccio, De mulieribus claris (On Famous Women) (1361-1375)
  • The Legend of Good Women by Chaucer
  • Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies (1405)
  • Osbern Bokenham, Legendys of hooly wummen (c.1430)
  • George Ballard, Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain Who Have Been Celebrated for their Writing or Skill in the Learned Languages, Arts, and Sciences. Oxford: W. Jackson, 1752.
  • John Duncombe, Feminead (1754)
  • Anon., Biographium faemineum : the female worthies, or, Memoirs of the most illustrious ladies, of all ages and nations, who have been eminently distinguished for their magnanimity, learning, genius, virtue, piety, and other excellent endowments. London: Printed for S. Crowder, 1766. 2 vols.
  • Mary Scott, The Female Advocate: A Poem Occasioned by Reading Mr Duncombe's Feminead. London: Joseph Johnson, 1774.
  • Mary Hays, Female Biography (6 vols., 1803)
  • Sarah Josepha Hale, Woman's Record; or, Sketches of All Distinguished women from the Creation to AD 1850 (1854)
  • Charlotte Mary Yonge, Biographies of Good Women (First Series, 1862; Second Series, 1865)
  • Julia Kavanagh, Woman in France during the Eighteenth Century (1850), Women of Christianity (1852), French Women of Letters (1862) and English Women of Letters (1862). These collective biographies "all argue against idealized, sentimental portrayals of female experience. She intended these biographies to provide a corrective to the silence of male historians on the topic of female influence in a variety of sphere beyond the domestic" (ODNB).
  • Helen C. Black, Notable Women Authors of the Day: Biographical Sketches. Glasgow: David Bryce & Son, 1893.

Contrast

See also




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