Women’s History Month: Influential Female Authors through history

For the month of March the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes blog is running an event (inspired by the month of March being Women’s History Month) celebrating women’s achievements.  I thought I’d join in with this by listing a few female authors throughout history who have made a great contribution to the literary scene and whose works I have loved.  Below are three authors, with different styles of writing and stories that have given me much reading enjoyment over the years.  Gothic romance, gothic horror and murder mystery:

1. Charlotte Bronte – best known for Jane Eyre published under the Pseudonym Currer Bell.  Charlotte taught in a school and as a governess and her own experiences no doubt played into her works of fiction.  Charlotte and her sisters, Emily and Anne, all published their works under male names after being repeatedly rejected for publication.  She is an author who broke the mould, writing of a passionate woman who wasn’t afraid to stand up for her own desires or beliefs. Jane Eyre is a favourite of mine and a book that I have reread a few times.


2. Mary Shelley – a female writer who set out to write a ghost story and instead wrote, arguably, the first science fiction novel.  Frankenstein.  A gothic tale of creation and creator.  A fantastic book that really begs the question of who is the true ‘monster’ of the piece.  Shelley’s book was published anonymously with a foreword written by her husband – this of course led to speculation over whether she had actually written the book.  Frankenstein has maintained its ability to fascinate audiences through both the book and the many adaptations which it has inspired.


3. Agatha Christie – one of the most famous mystery writers.  Her two best known detectives are Poirot and Marple.  For a brief spell, back in the day, she became the centre of attention when she herself disappeared for a few days following a scandal concerning her husband.  Murder on the Orient Express is probably the most famous of her works but I’m very fond of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd:


Of course there are lots of influential female writers.  Let me know who you would add to the list.



19 Responses to “Women’s History Month: Influential Female Authors through history”

  1. cupcakesandmachetes

    Very nice! I’ll admit I have a love/hate relationship with classics but two of those three authors I’ve never even tried. I should probably fix that. 😉

    • @lynnsbooks

      They’re not for everyone – the older style of writing just doesn’t always work.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    Great post, Lynn😊 I love your classic examples of women writers. If I were more awake I’m sure I’d come up with more examples, but I’ve only had one cup of coffee so maybe later😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – I need at least two cups of coffee before I can speak to anyone.
      Lynn 😀

  3. todaysechoes

    Frankenstein is one of my absolute favourite novels. Every time I reread it, I love it even more.
    I would add Margaret Atwood to the list.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I did think of Margaret Atwood tbh (and a few others) but thought I’d go with three.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Greg

    I need to read Agatha Christie. I always liked Andre Norton growing up, obviously she’s not probably in the same writing league as these authors or as well known, but she was a big part of my childhood and that sense of wonder that drew me to SF/F. And I didn’t read a lot of Ursula K LeGuin but what I did read I liked.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read Ursula LeGuin but I aim to do so.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This is awesome, Lynn! Thanks for sharing this great tribute to three women who pioneered their genres!

  6. Steph P. Bianchini

    Great list. I’d add (in addition to Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin already mentioned in the comments) Virginia Woolf, Shirley Jackson, Doris Lessing and Emily Dickinson for poetry. But sure there are others!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks for the additions, I thought of Shirley Jackson for this post and had originally planned many more but then decided to narrow it down. I love her books.
      Lynn 😀

  7. jessicabookworm

    I would add Jane Austen to the list and probably switch Charlotte for Emily Bronte. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I was going to add Jane Austen but decided to leave some space for others to tell me their suggestions.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Great list, and some nice additions in the comments (like LeGuin and Atwood)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m definitely trying to make time for some of these suggestions like LeGuin.
      Lynn 😀

  9. sjhigbee

    Mrs Gaskell is another female author I’d add – I particularly love Cranford; Mary Renault, whose take on Greek mythology enriched my inscape; and the incomparable Dorothy L. Sayer…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Gaskell is an author that I nearly included – but, would you believe I haven’t read her work. I had a copy of North and South (is that correct?) but didn’t get round to it – ironically she lived very close to where I lived in Stockport and I used to pass Gaskell house quite regularly which made her even more intriguing to me. One day.
      Lynn 😀

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