Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
13 May 2016

The HH Podcast #1.5: Fight Club

The Hidden Histories podcast.

By New Statesman

Welcome to the fourth episode of Hidden Histories podcast series – The Great Forgetting: Women writers before Austen. In this episode, Helen Lewis and our guests Sophie Coulombeau, Liz Edwards and Jennie Batchelor thrash out the impossible question: Who is the most interesting female writer of the Eighteenth Century?  

Here’s a few snippets about their chosen favourites:

Liz Edwards on Hester Thrale Piozzi

When Frances Burney asked her friend Hester Thrale if she’d ever been in love, Hester answered her yes – ‘with myself, & most passionately’. It’s a moment that sums up her voice – witty, unusual, lively, poised, self-mocking – a personal voice that defines her as a writer. 

Sophie Coulombeau on Frances Burney

Her novels represent a bridge between the eighteenth-century picaresque and the Romantic quest to express interiority. They pioneer innovative literary techniques such as free indirect discourse. They give us an unrivalled window into eighteenth-century life: its fears, anxieties, pleasures and pains. Finally, they make a staunch argument for the validity and significance of ‘Female difficulties’. 

 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Jennie Batchelor on Anon

Anon. is the most important figure in women’s literary history, arguably in literary history full stop. She has long been mis-understood and is undoubtedly a tricky customer but that’s why she’s so important. Anonymity was not, in the main, a veil or shield for 18th-century women writers, it, not signed authorship, was simply the default position. 

Content from our partners
Railways must adapt to how we live now
“I learn something new on every trip"
How data can help revive our high streets in the age of online shopping

Listen using the player below….

…. or subscribe in iTunes.

And learn about the series guests (and even more reading suggestions) at the series page.