Saturday 17 October 2015

Women's Classic Literature - My List

This list is a combination of the women authors on my current Classics Club list as well as classic women authors residing on my TBR pile. 

This post was inspired by The Classics Club Women's Classic Literature Event.


  • Austen, Jane                          Love and Freindship (sic), Lady Susan, The Watson, Sandition
  • Barker, Pat                            The Regeneration Trilogy
  • Bowen, Elizabeth                  Death of the Heart, House in Paris, The Last September
  • Bridge, Ann                           Peking Picnic
  • Bronte, Anne                         Agnes Grey
  • Bronte, Charlotte                   Villette
  • Bronte, Emily                        The Night is Darkening Round Me (poems)
  • Brookner, Anita                     The Rules of Engagement, Strangers
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson     The Secret Garden, The Little Princess
  • Delafield, E.M.                      Diary of a Provincial Lady
  • Du Maurier, Daphne              Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek
  • Dundy, Elaine                        The Dud Avocado
  • Gaskell Elizabeth                   Cranford, Wives and Daughters, Mary Barton, Ruth
  • Holtby, Winifred                    South Riding
  • Jenkins, Elizabeth                  Hare and the Tortoise
  • Kennedy, Margaret                The Ladies of Lyndon, The Forgotten Smile
  • Lee, Hermione                       Edith Wharton (bio), Virginia Woolf (bio)
  • Lessing, Doris                        Golden Notebook
  • Manning, Olivia                     The Balkan Trilogy
  • Mitford, Nancy                       Love in a Cold Climate, Voltaire in Love, Frederick the Great, Madame de Pompadour, The Sun King, Don't Tell Alfred, The Pursuit of Love (reread)
  • Murdoch, Iris                         Under The Net, The Flight From the Enchanter, The Sea, The Sea, The Book and the Brotherhood
  • Nesbit, Edith                         The Railway Children               (reread)
  • Pearce, Philippa                     Tom's Midnight Garden    (reread)
  • Peyton, K.M.                         Flambards, Edge of the Cloud, Flambards in Summer  (rereads)
  • Potter, Beatrix                        The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit
  • Pym, Barbara                         A Glass of Blessings, Less Than Angels, No Fond Return of Love, Crampton Hodnet, Civil to Strangers, Some Tame Gazelle, An Academic Question, Quartet in Autumn
  • Rossetti, Christina                 Poems
  • Rowley, Hazel                       Tete-a-Tete: The Lives & Loves of Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Shelley, Mary                        Frankenstein
  • Smith, Dodie                         I Capture the Castle
  • Spark, Muriel                       A Far Cry From Kensington
  • Taylor, Elizabeth                  A Game of Hide and Seek
  • Uglow, Jenny                        Elizabeth Gaskell (bio)
  • Woolf, Virginia                     A Room of One's Own  (reread), Night and Day, Between the Acts, Jacob's Room, The Years, The Voyage Out


  • Calthorpe, Mena                          The Dyehouse
  • Ada Cambridge                            Sisters, The Three Miss Kings, A Mere Chance
  • Dark, Elenor                                The Timeless Land
  • Harrower, Elizabeth                     The Catherine Wheel
  • Hill, Ernestine                              My Love Must Wait
  • Langley, Eve                                 The Pea-Pickers
  • Lindsey, Joan                                Picnic at Hanging Rock   (reread)
  • Richardson, Henry Handel           The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Maurice Guest                         
  • St John, Madeliene                       Essence of the Thing
  • Stead, Christina                            The Salzburg Tales
  • Turner, Ethel                                 Seven Little Australians   (reread)
  • Von Armin, Elizabeth                   The Enchanted April   (reread)


  • Alcott, Louisa May           Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, Jo's Boys (rereads)
  • Angelou, Maya                 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (reread)
  • Buck, Pearl S                    The Good Earth
  • Cather, Willa                    One of Ours, The Professor's House, Song of the Lark, O Pioneers, Death Comes to the Archbishop, Lucy Gayheart, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, Shadows on the Rock, A Lost Lady, Alexander's Bridge
  • Coolidge, Susan               What Katy Did (reread)
  • Ferber, Edna                     So Big, Cimarron
  • Fraser, Caroline                Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Gordon, Charlotte            Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley (bio)
  • Highsmith, Patricia           The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol
  • Morrison, Toni                  Beloved
  • Plath, Sylvia                      Bell Jar
  • Walker, Alice                    Color Purple (reread), Possessing the Secret of Joy (reread)
  • Wharton, Edith                 Age of Innocence (reread), Summer, House of Mirth (reread), The Children, Ethan Frome (reread), The Buccaneers
  • Wilder, Laura Ingalls        Little House in the Big Woods (reread), Little House on the Prairie (reread)


  • Montgomery, L.M.               A Tangled Web, Anne of Green Gables (reread)
  • Rubio, Mary Henley             Lucy Maud Montgomery



  • Frank, Anne                     Diary of a Young Girl   (reread)


  • de Beauvoir, Simone            Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
  • Sand, George                        Indiana, Valentine, The Devil's Pool, The Countess von Ruidolstadt, Marianne


  • Arendt, Hannah                             Eichmann in Jerusalem
  • Canetti, Veza                                 The Tortoises
  • Kerr, Judith                                   When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit    (reread)
  • von Droste-Hushoff, Annette        The Jew's Beech

New Zealand


  • Nemirovsky, Irene                      Suite Francaise    (reread)


  • Lindgren, Astrid                       Pippi Longstocking


  • Undset, Sigrid                            Kristin Lavransdatter


  • Shikibu, Murasaki                     Tale of the Genii

I have grouped my female authors (perhaps controversially) by country of birth. 
Which is why you will find Nemirovsky under Russian, not French - Park in New Zealand, not Australia - and Von Armin in Australia, not England.

My aim is find a classic women's author from as many countries in the world as possible.
If you know of any from personal experience (i.e. you've actually read the book/author), I'd love to know about them. You can even leave a link for your review of it in the comments below.

I plan to host a readalong for Age in Innocence in January to coincide with my Wharton Review month.

This list will no doubt evolve.

Happy (classics) Reading!


  1. Anonymous17/10/15

    I have posted today about a Virginia Woolf read-a-long. Not supposed to be an official sign up post as such but people seem to be using it as such. So... seems we have a read-a-long for Woolf. I just finished A Room of One's own will try and write about it in a day or so but did really like it.

    1. I love the idea of a Woolf readalong - I'll check it out too :-)

  2. This is such an exciting list, Brona. YOU ARE REREADING LITTLE WOMEN! That's my current train read. I have a different read for every occasion, you see. :) The Bell Jar! Agnes Grey! Villette! EXCELLENT picks!! Also, Love and Freindship is hysterical. :)

    1. I read Little Women et al sooooooo many times during my youth, but not for a long time now. I think it's long overdue :-)

  3. I don't think I've actually read Little Women, but I have in on my classics club list. I'm looking forward to it.

  4. Great list! I've been struggling a bit coming up with authors from countries other than England and the US. So I will use your list as inspiration. I won't read The Age of Innocence with you, since I've just recently reread it, but I'm already planning for your Wharton month!

    1. I'm sure I'll manage a couple of Whartons during January too - which one do you think you might like to try next?

  5. Anonymous18/10/15

    What a list!
    I've only read 8 of these authors.
    I need to hunker down and read more women writers!
    You have a few chunksters in there as well! Good luck!

  6. Yes Karen Blixen / Isak Dinesen ! A great read. Also Anne Frank. etc. Like your list.

    1. I've seen the Meryl Streep movie but I've not read the book yet.
      Thanks for popping by :-)

  7. You probably don't want another Aussie author, but I read 'Generations of Men' by Judith Wright about 10 years ago & liked it enough to want to re-read it, which I haven't done yet.

    1. I'm always happy to have an Aussie author/book to look forward to :-)

  8. Anonymous9/4/17

    I love the list. I especially enjoy tips for German authors, since I've struggled to find female German classical authors. If you're still interested in tips for countries you haven't covered I would recommend:

    La femme de Gilles by Madeleine Bourdouxhe (Belgium) a short book about a housewife dealing with her husbands adultery.

    Detective Muller by August Groner (Austria) a series of detective stories with an interesting detective at the center

    Marie Under, who was a poet from Estonia who published poems during a very critical time in Estonian history

    Miss Majoribanks by Margaret Oliphant (Scotland, I wasn't sure about this one as I don't know if you mean UK when you say English), but the book is quite similare to Emma, but with a more well rounded (in my oppinion) character at the center

    Lieutenant Nun by Catalina De Erauso (Spain) a autobiographical book about a girl raised to be a nun who runs away from her convent, dresses as a man and travels to America (the continent, not US)

    The House of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán (Spain) a psycological thriller about what happens when the gentry are alone too long in the country side, and what happens to the people ropped into their lives

    1. Wow! What a great list - thanks for the tips. I'll check out your reviews over the Easter weekend when i have more time :-)

  9. What a wonderful list. I will certainly find a lot of inspiration from it. Thank you so much.

    Best wishes,

  10. I have gone through your list and checked which of your books I have read already and there are quite a few.

    Here is my list:
    Austen, Jane "The Watsons" - 1803/05
    Austen, Jane "Lady Susan" - 1795
    Brontë, Charlotte "Villette" - 1853
    Lessing, Doris "The Golden Notebook" - 1962
    Alcott, Louisa May "Little Women" Series
    Angelou, Maya "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" - 1969
    Buck, Pearl S. "The Good Earth" - 1931
    Morrison, Toni "Beloved" - 1987
    Plath, Sylvia "The Bell Jar"- 1963
    Walker, Alice "The Color Purple" - 1982
    Wharton, Edith "The House of Mirth" - 1905
    Wilder, Laura Ingalls "Little House Books" 1932-1971
    Montgomery, L. M. (Lucy Maud) "Anne of Green Gables" - 1908
    Dinesen, Isak/Blixen, Karen "Out of Africa" - 1937
    Frank, Anne "The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition" (Dutch: Het Achterhuis) - 1942-44
    Droste-Hülshoff, Annette von "The Jew's Beech" (German: Die Judenbuche) - 1842
    Némirovsky, Irène "Suite Française" (French: Suite Française) - 2004
    Murasaki, Lady Shikibu "The Tale of Genji" (Japanese: 源氏物語 Genji Monogatari) - early 11th century

    I don't know what you classify as "classic". For me, it's usually a hundred years. Let me know so I can tell you more about other countries where I might have read one.

    Happy Reading,

    1. I tend to have a 50 yr classic limit. With a fluid 25-50 yr modern classic bracket :-)

      You've certainly read a good number of my list already! As I have time I will look forward to checking out your links.
      You can add hyperlinks in comments using the code word if that helps Marianne.

  11. Thank you so much for that, Brona. I will try that the next time!

    Sorry I reply so late, we've been to Ireland and somehow I got behind with my correspondence.


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.