Feminist Classics Book Club

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May 2021 Book

Indiana, 1832 by Amantine Aurore Dupin (George Sand).

In May, we are travelling to 19th century France with Indiana, published in 1832 and written by one of the most reknown romantic writers in Europe, Amantine Aurore Dupin, best known by her male pen pseudonym George Sand (1804-1876).

At 28, George Sand published her first novel, Indiana in which she argues for the freedom of young women to follow their heart, make their own mistakes, and learn from them, overturning social conventions of the time.

Reading the book: free ebook available in Epub and Kindle format. You can also save a PDF to print or read on your computer or tablet.

Further reading: George Sand answering her critics 20 years after its was first published.

And a very informative podcast: George Sand on BBC In Our Time, 55 minutes.


April 2021

The Little Governess by Katherine Mansfield

This month for the Feminist Classics Book Club we have Katherine Mansfield’s short story The Little Governess. This story was included in a collection, held at the library, that focuses on Katherine Mansfield’s feminist stories. Check it out next time you’re perusing the shelves at The Womens Library.

You can read The Little Governess for free at the Katherine Mansfield Society website.If youd like to read an analysis of the story, check out this paper by Lucille Cooper. And, to learn more about Katherine Mansfield, check out this documentary, A Portrait of Katherine Mansfield (1986) available on NZ On Screen.


January 2021 Book

Right Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females, 1983 by Andrea Dworkin (249 pages)

Links : Get Best Books | Media Fire
These can be downloaded as a PDF or ePUB, which you can upload to your reader.

About the book:

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”

Muriel Rukeyser

What does the Right offer to women? How does the Right mobilise women? Why is the Right succeeding in opposing women’s rights? With the stark precision and forceful passion that characterises all of her work, Andrea Dworkin answers these timely questions. By providing the first clear analysis of the impact of the Right’s position on abortion, homosexuality, anti-Semitism, female poverty, and antifeminism on women, Dworkin demonstrates how the Right attempts to both exploit and silence women’s deepest fears.


November 2020 Book

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

From the British Library

“Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was a ground-breaking work of literature which still resonates in feminism and human rights movements of today.

Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) wrote the book in part as a reaction to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution, published in late 1790. Burke saw the French Revolution as a movement which would inevitably fail, as society needed traditional structures such as inherited positions and property in order to strengthen it. Wollstonecraft’s initial response was to write A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), a rebuttal of Burke that argued in favour of parliamentary reform, and stating that religious and civil liberties were part of a man’s birth right, with corruption caused in the main by ignorance. This argument for men’s rights wasn’t unique – Thomas Paine published his Rights of Man in 1791, also arguing against Burke – but Wollstonecraft proceeded to go one step further, and, for the first time, a book was published that argued for women’s rights to be on the same footing as men’s.”

A reading copy is available from Project Gutenberg and there is a LibriVox reading on YouTube that you can listen to.


October 2020 Book

Is a room of one’s own something that resonates with you in the time of COVID? Would you like your own space away from it all, away from the virus, away from the kids, away from the new normal? If so, take some time out on Thursday 29 October from 7:00pm and join us in a room of our own.

The Feminist Classics Book Club is discussing Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own at its first virtual meetup, and members and supporters of The Women’s Library are welcome to join us. Let us know if you would like to be part of the discussion and we will send you the the event details.

The Internet Archive has a copy of the book that you can read online. Or you can listen to this reading.

You are most welcome to join the discussion without having read the book. If you want the gist of it, this Guardain review or  this lecture might help.

To take part in the discussion, you will have to use Zoom on your PC, tablet, or phone. You can use Zoom without having a Zoom account, but you should allow time to download the program before the discussion if you are not already using Zoom.

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Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash