Elaine Showalter & Miranda Seymour: Women Writers and Self-Promotion, A Historical Perspective

Literary critic Showalter and biographer Seymour discussed the challenges faced by women writers in getting recognition for their work both today and in the past—including anecdotes from their own careers.

Elaine Showalter, professor emerita at Princeton University, is a literary critic who has been a pioneer of feminist literary criticism. Her numerous books include the groundbreaking A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing; The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture, 1830-1980; and most recently, A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx, a history of 250 American women writers, including the acclaimed and the less-well-known.

Miranda Seymour is a celebrated novelist and biographer. She is the author of the prize-winning memoir In My Father’s House. Her biographies include the Life of Mary Shelley, the Life of Henry James, Bugatti Queen: In Search of a Motor-Racing Legend and biographies of Ottoline Morrell and Robert Graves. She has written four children’s books and five historical novels. Her most recent book is Chaplin’s Girl, about the movie star Virginia Cherrill, made famous by Charlie Chaplin.