Top Five Classic Female Authors

Kettlemag, Books, Classic, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Madiya Altaf
Written by Madiya Altaf

It’s Women season here on Kettle Mag and I’ve compiled a list of my favourite classic female authors.

Jane Austen

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Jane Austen is one of the world’s best known writers in English Literature, with six novels written. Her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, highlights society’s pressure for a women to marry in to a good home. What’s not to love about Austen? Her novels have sold millions of copies worldwide and through her use of literary realism, she tells captivating stories of 18th and 19th century women who are strong, independent and contemporary. Austen suggested through her novels that women should marry for love and not for status or of society’s pressure. Austen herself discards the female conventions of a women having to marry, as she rejected her suitor Harris Bigg Wither the day after they got engaged and she never ended up marrying. Austen is truly a marvellous female and writer!

Agatha Christie

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I had to have Agatha Christie on my list! She is the ‘Queen of Crime’ with over sixty five detective novels under her belt! She once wrote a novel in a weekend which is remarkable considering it took me five months to write 10,000 words for one of my Creative Writing modules. Christie developed the detective conventions set by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and with her impressive writing skills and suspenseful whodunit plots she created truly addictive novels! Not only did she write detective fiction but also wrote plays, including the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She is also the only female writer to ever have three plays running simultaneously in London’s West End.

Virginia Woolf

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I love Woolf’s writing style! She breaks the conventions of traditional literary techniques by experimenting with the stream of consciousness. Woolf rejects the traditional narrative form and instead produces her own distinctive narrative style. Her writing allows the reader to receive a deeper insight into the thinking of a character and the emotional understanding behind a character. Woolf suffered from various illnesses throughout her lifetime from anorexia to depression, and having written nine novels and multiple short stories while being plagued by the mental illnesses is a massive achievement.

The Bronte Sisters

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This one is kind of a cheat but I had to include ALL three of the Bronte sisters. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte are all well-known writers and poets. Because of the prejudice against female writers at that time the Bronte’s published their works under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. All three sisters started writing at an early age and published a volume of poetry at their own expense. After the death of their two older sisters, the sisters were often left at home and often wrote during this time. Their novels which were published included social commentary and realism which led to the success of their novels. The Bronte’s were hugely talented and have had their novels today adapted in TV series and films.

Louisa May Alcott

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Louisa May Alcott most famous novel is Little Women which is loosely based on her childhood experience with her three sisters. Growing up, Alcott had many jobs from being a teacher to a domestic helper and writing soon become an escape for her. Even though Alcott was commissioned to write a story for girls in which she first rejected as she wanted to publish a collection of short stories, she soon agreed. After publication, the ‘girl story’ became a new category in publishing which at that time paralleled boys’ adventure stories. Something I found out while researching Alcott was that she too, like Austen, was unmarried during her life. What I love about Alcott is that she wrote a story about girls that was relatable and appealed to different classes and backgrounds of women at that time!

I know there are many more fantastic classic female authors that I haven’t included, if I did my list would be endless! Let me know what your favourite classic authors are by commenting below or tweeting us @KettleMag! Also check out Laura’s 5 greatest female literary charaters here

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