General Feminist/ Feminist Literary History

Belsey, C. & Moore, J. eds., 1997. The Feminist Reader: Essays in Gender and the Politics of Literary Criticism. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: MacMillan.

A collection of essays exploring feminist critical theory in practice. This book usefully includes a summary of each essay, a glossary of terms and an excellent bibliography.

Eagleton, M. ed. 1991. Feminist Literary Criticism. Harlow: Longman.

A broad collection of paired essays constructing a dialogue on critical and theoretical approaches to literature.

Eagleton, M., 1996. Working with Feminist Criticism. Oxford: Blackwell.

Eagleton’s text is particularly useful for students new to the field of feminist criticism and spotlights accessible examples of theory in practice across a range of texts, poetry and drama.

Eagleton, M., 2011. Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader. 3rd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

An excellent introduction providing a broad overview of its subject. The second edition in particular contains additional material on black and French feminism, and postmodernism. The third edition, which came out in 2011, has been revised and supplemented throughout and a new chapter, ‘Writing “Glocal”‘ added. This focuses on literary feminism’s concern with place, space, and location, both local and global.

Eagleton, M., 2018. Clever Girls and the Literature of Women’s Upward Mobility. Palgrave.

Goodman, L. ed., 1996. Literature and Gender. London: Routledge and The Open University.

An excellent general introduction to the theme of gender in literature (poetry, prose, drama). This text is particularly useful for undergraduates and students new to the field.

Greene, G. & Kahn, C. eds., 1985. Making a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism. London: Methuen.

An important collection of essays that explores new conceptions of feminist literary scholarship.

Humm, M., 1986. Feminist Criticism: Women as Contemporary Critics. Sussex: The Harvester Press.

A thoughtful account of female critics, creative methodologies and critical strategies in the work of Woolf, West and Rich.

Humm, M., 1994. A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Feminist Literary Criticism. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.

A useful and accessibly written text providing an overview of feminist literary criticism, the main theoretical perspectives, the key thinkers within each perspective and an outline of the debates within each theory.

Humm, M., 1995. Practicising Feminist Criticism: An Introduction. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

An introduction to the varieties of feminism from the 1960s combining both theoretical perspectives and applied examples.

Marks, E., &  de Courtivron. I. eds., 1981. New French Feminisms: An Anthology. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.

An introductory anthology presenting the spectrum of French feminisms since 1968.

Moi, T., 1985. Sexual / Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory. London: Routledge.

An excellent text that juxtaposes the two main approaches to feminist literary theory: the Anglo-American and the French.

Morris, P., 1993. Literature and Feminism: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

An introductory text about feminist theory and criticism. Morris presents the key concepts, definitions, approaches and reading practices to contemporary feminist literature.

Palmer, P., 1990. “Contemporary Lesbian Feminist Fiction: Texts for Everyone In Anderson, L. ed. Plotting Change: Contemporary Women’s Fiction. London: Edward Arnold, 2000, p.43-64.

An important essay by Palmer that suggests that lesbian fiction is feminist fiction for all women.

Sherry, R., 1988. Studying Women’s Writing: An Introduction. London: Edward Arnold.

A brief introductory text to the study of women’s writing.

Showalter, E., 1999 A Literature of Their Own. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

An accessible cavalcade through the work of a number of key women writers focusing on a range of themes.

Tong, R., 1989. Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction. London: Routledge.

Todd provides a very accessible and comprehensive introduction to the major traditions and perspectives of feminist criticism.