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Sunday, 28 October 2018

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Harriet Devine

I love Dorothy Wordsworth but I used to find it hard to teach her to students - its hard to write about her writing critically - you just want to relish the beauty of it. And Frances Wilson is a great biographer - her first book on the courtesan Harriet Wilson is brilliant.

helen

Harriet, sorry to have taken so long to reply!

I can understand that it might be hard to write about her writing. I thought that Frances Wilson found interesting ways to discuss it in terms of her psychology, her health, her relationship with William, but I don't recall her engaging with it in literary terms, though I should probably check. Most of the criticism I've read of it (which isn't much!) seems to take its literary quality for granted. By which I mean, I suspect a lot of people find it difficult too.

kaggsysbookishramblings

Sounds like a fascinating book. I've often been intrigued by Dorothy's role in her brother's writing so I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Helen

Oh do, Karen, it's quite short, excellently written and really fascinating. And I hadn't realised quite how radical their household was until I read this!

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