Updated: Aug 30
Hi readers! This is Part 2 of my “Inspirational Female Writers” blog post. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here. This part will focus on a few inspirational female writers who are no longer alive.
1. Sylvia Plath.
The first piece of Sylvia Plath’s writing that I read was The Bell Jar. It is said to be autobiographical of Sylvia Plath’s own experiences. Much of the novel is heart wrenchingly relatable for those who have struggled with their mental health and happiness. After reading The Bell Jar, I proceeded to read her entire collection of poetry. For my senior thesis in college, I dissected the impact of Sylvia Plath’s depression and mental health on her poetry. Sylvia Plath had a talent for writing unique metaphors in poems that can be dissected repeatedly with a different meaning each time. Her poems are deeply personal and revealing of her inner turmoil. I think Sylvia Plath is inspirational for what she endured, for continuing to write although it must have been difficult, and for using her writing as an outlet for her emotions. Although her life ended tragically and far too young, her writing will live on forever and I think that’s what most writers want, to leave a legacy with their words.
2. Emily Bronte.
Wuthering Heights is my favorite classic novel. I remember reading it when I was in 9th or 10th grade, becoming obsessed with the story and the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights is viewed by some people as a tragic love story. However, this work of gothic fiction is still revered by many and has been adapted into movies multiple times. It is hard to believe Emily Bronte only ever published one novel, yet it has stood the test of time as a work of genius. Emily Bronte is, in my opinion, an inspirational writer because of her adept usage of the moors setting to set the mood for the story and move the plot along. Emily Bronte is another writer who died before her time. I can only imagine the wonderful novels she would have written if she had more time.
3. Charlotte Bronte.
Of course, I can’t include Emily Bronte in my list without also including her sister, Charlotte Bronte. I would consider Jane Eyre another of my favorite classic novels. Jane Eyre has also been adapted a multitude of times, proving the Bronte sisters were talented at writing stories that touch people no matter what time period they live in. Charlotte Bronte survived longer than her sisters and published several novels, as well as poetry books with her sisters. Another reason I admire the Bronte sisters so much is because they were writing novels and poetry and publishing their works of writing at a time when that industry was dominated by men. They even wrote under pen names for awhile before revealing their true names because they knew their writing wouldn’t be taken as seriously if people found out it was written by a woman.
4. Emily Dickinson.
I don’t remember when I first read one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, but several of them have made a lasting impact on me and have remained imprinted in my mind. Although she wrote hundreds of poems, she only published around a dozen of her poems while she was alive. She was known as somewhat of a recluse, preferring solitude and writing to social gatherings. I love that her sister Lavinia (with the help of her brother and sister-in-law) was the one who made sure Emily’s poems were eventually published. It says a lot about her sister that she felt responsible for getting Emily’s writing published after Emily was gone. A fun fact is that her poem ‘Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn’ inspired the title for my novel!
5. Jane Austen.
Northanger Abbey. Sense and Sensibility. Pride and Prejudice. These are a few of Jane Austen’s notable works. All of Jane Austen’s novels have been adapted into movies, which has helped them reach a different audience. Northanger Abbey is my favorite Jane Austen novel due to the almost parody-like story, replicating the popular Gothic fiction of her time, though it is done with finesse and is a well-written novel. It is hard to believe that Jane Austen’s novels didn’t bring her much fame or success while she was alive. Although she did have some success, it was nothing like what happened after she died. I think it is unfortunate for many writers that their works of writing don’t become popular until after they are gone.
As a writer, I wanted to share a few of the female writers who inspired me with the hope that they will inspire other female writers.