Education, study and knowledge

6 writers that should not be forgotten

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Until relatively recently, writing was a male task. And not because women didn't write; on the contrary, most of them, especially if they belonged to the wealthy classes, spent long periods of time dedicated to writing. But it was one thing to write in the privacy of the home, and quite another to publish. It was not until the 19th century that literary works written by women began to proliferate and, despite this, most of them came to light under a pseudonym.

They did exist, however, throughout history. women who defied established norms and decided to publish. Some had the enormous fortune of being able to dedicate themselves to it professionally; others were relegated to oblivion, and only recently has her memory been rescued. In this article, we offer you a journey through 6 of the most important writers in literature.

6 important women writers that should not be forgotten

The seven women that you will find below devoted their lives to literature, some with more success than others. The selection has been based, above all, on the level of knowledge that society has of them. We have tried, therefore, to include the most forgotten writers in the list, to contribute to the recovery of her history.

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1. Marie of France (c. XII-XIII)

The troubadour Middle Ages was not only a time of poets, but also of poetesses. One of the trobairitz (the name given to these female "troubadours") best known is María de Francia, of whom, however, We know little beyond the work that she has left us.

She lived in France during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, without being able to specify the date of her birth and death. Her literary production covers the period 1160-1215, which has helped scholars to establish a series of candidates who could have been Marie of France. Among them, we have Mary, Abbess of Shaftesbury and half-sister of King Henry II; Maria, Countess of Bologna, and even the very daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was, like her mother, a great patron of the arts. However, this last candidacy is unlikely, since she died in 1198, long before the production of Marie de Francia was finished.

Among the most outstanding works of María de Francia are the lais that she wrote. The lais They were very popular poetic compositions in the 12th and 13th centuries, which generally sang courtly love and the protagonist hero of the deeds; both very common themes in the literature of the time. In the case of lais de Maria, are written in Anglo-Norman, a language related to the langue de oïl, the set of Romance languages ​​that were spoken in the regions of medieval France.

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2. Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (994-1091)

Wallada is one of the most famous poets of Al-Andalus she and she one of the most rebellious and attractive personalities in Córdoba at the time. She was the daughter of Caliph Muhammad al-Mustakfi, who reigned as a result of assassination and was later assassinated by his enemies. As a result, Wallada was a princess for a few months, long enough for her passion for the refined culture so characteristic of the Umayyad court to germinate in her.

Once his father died, Wallada collects his large inheritance and moves away from the court circle. In 1025 she founded a kind of "literary salon" in Córdoba, where she taught poetry and music to young women. Beautiful, arrogant and highly cultured, Ella Wallada is the most fascinating woman in the Umayyad capital; extraordinarily gifted for poetry, she has no rival when it comes to composing verses.

Wallada lived her entire life independently, without marrying or being financially attached to any man. The fortune that her father had left her was enough to live comfortably, completely dedicated to love and poetry. The love of his life was the also poet Ibn Zaydún, to whom, however, he dedicated cruel satires after their separation, which are among Wallada's best-known works. Some satires that he answered in the same tone, by the way.

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3. Murasaki Shikibu (978-1014)

The work for which this Japanese writer is known is the genji novel, an extensive story that is considered the first "modern" novel in history. The story of the vicissitudes of Genji, a boy trying to find pure love in a world corrupted by fickleness and betrayal, is a profound portrait of the human soul, where many authors have wanted to see a clear antecedent of the psychological novels of the 19th century. But the point is that Murasaki Shikibu lived almost a thousand years before Tolstoy and Zola, which makes her his work in an indisputable milestone of universal literature and, to her, in one of the most important.

As often happens with characters (especially female ones) so far away in time, we know little about her life. It is intuited that she was born in Kyoto into the Fujiwara clan, who were related to the imperial family. Murasaki began to read and write from a very young age, and her intelligence and talent caught the attention of her father who, according to legend, lamented that "she had not been born a boy."

The genji novel It was a real hit in Japan.. The Empress, fascinated by her work, called Murasaki to the court, where she remained until her transfer to a monastery. The date of her death is unclear: experts suggest that she died around 1014, at the age of 40, of unknown causes.

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4. Phillips Wheatley (1753-1784)

Phillis Wheatley's story is one of overcoming. She was born in Africa, probably in what is now Senegal, and she was kidnapped when she was very young to be sold into slavery in Boston Harbor. There she was bought by Mr. Wheatley, from whom she received her last name (as was usual among slaves). Her name, Phillis, was taken from the ship that took her to America. Nothing is known of her real name, her family and her homeland.

The Wheatleys treated her well and raised her practically as if she were their daughter. Soon, Phillis displayed unusual intelligence and a great talent for poetry., which the Wheatleys encouraged. By age 14, Phillis had already had her first poem published in a Boston newspaper, to be followed by several more. The quality of her poetry was undeniable, but the Bostonian society of the time, racist and misogynistic, refused to believe that a slave was the author. So, to prove her authorship, Phillis had to pass a humiliating test: before a court of 18 men, she was forced to recite her poetry, as well as passages from the Bible and some classical poems. Finally, the men were convinced of the young woman's talent and signed a document proving that Phillis was indeed the author of the poems.

Although she managed to get a book of poetry published in England, her fate was cruel to Phillis. She passed away at just 32 years old, broke and sick. At least she died free of it, having been emancipated by the Wheatleys in November 1773.

5. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Daughter of the Enlightenment and very committed to the claim of women's rights, Mary Wollstonecraft she is considered one of the most outstanding writers and intellectuals of eighteenth-century Europe.

With strong and revolutionary ideals, Mary always advocated a life free from ties and social conventions. With her close friend and intellectual confidante, Fanny Blood, Mary made plans to live together, both dedicated to studying and to mutual aid, which reveals her null connection with a society that required her to marry prosperous. Mary founded a school with her sisters and Blood, but the project failed. Fanny, who had finally married, died in childbirth in 1785, a tragedy that left a deep mark on the writer.

Possibly the most famous work of Mary Wollstonecraft is Vindication of the rights of women, written shortly after the French Revolution. However, she is also the author of novels as significant as Mary (1788) and María (1798, unfinished), both a true denunciation of the situation of women.

Despite being a firm opponent of marriage, she Mary she ended up marrying William Godwin, with whom she lived a relationship based on love and mutual respect. Godwin loved and admired Mary; When the writer died of a postpartum infection, her husband was absolutely devastated. By the way, the creature that was born would follow in the literary footsteps of her mother: Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

6. Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (1814-1873)

A tireless defender of women's rights and a convinced abolitionist, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda is one of the most important writers in Spanish-American literature.

She was born in Cuba, at the age of 22 she moved to Spain, where she publishes under the pseudonym of the pilgrim. His masterpiece is probably the novel Sab, published in 1841 and considered the first novel by anti-slavery theme of the story (previous by ten years to the famous Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet b. Stowe). In it, Gómez de Avellaneda not only criticizes slavery and the fierce capitalism that she begins to stand out in the West, but portrays an interracial love story, something unprecedented until so.

Gertrudis she also wrote for the theater, with outstanding works such as Saul (1849) and Balthazar (1858), closely linked to Romanticism. He also cultivated poetry, with poems like the return to the motherland, To the moon either To a young mother in the loss of her son, full of extraordinary emotionality.

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