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.

janeeyre

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.

frankenstein

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:

rogerA

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

 

 

Advertisements

Mystery she wrote…

agatha.jpg

As part of the Classics Club 

‘Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016’

The question for the month of April is:

‘Share an interesting fact about the life of the author you’re currently reading for this event.’

My next read for the Club is going to be And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  I haven’t started yet but I’ve just picked up a copy and so decided to make Agatha Christie the author of choice for this month’s question.

Now, I could just put a bunch of facts down now that I’ve read up about Agatha being home schooled or that she wrote her first books as a challenge from her sister Madge but what I found most intriguing, particularly given her style of books which have proved so very popular over the years, is the fact that she went missing herself!  Life imitating art imitating life!?!?

On the 3rd December 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days sparking a major manhunt involving police, volunteers and even aeroplanes!

Her car was found fairly quickly by the police and didn’t seem to have any signs of foul play and yet at the same time held no clues as to Agatha’s strange disappearance!

Agatha’s husband was suspected of foul play.  Arthur Conan Doyle tried to find Agatha using a medium and Dorothy Sayers visited the spot where her car was found to search for clues!

Finally, after 11 days of searching Agatha was found.  Located in a hotel in Harrogate.  To this day nobody has ever solved this mystery.  It is believed that Agatha’s husband was having an affair and she did in fact divorce him later on.  It is also suggested that she may have been in some form of car accident and suffered amnesia.  Another theory is that she was in a ‘fugue’ state – brought on by depression. 

Basically, it’s a mystery and perhaps only one that Miss Marple or Poirot himself can solve!  Was it all a very elaborate publicity stunt??  Who knows but it really does go to show that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction!

What really happened people.  Foul play or just a hoax??