The literary history of the Strickland family : Elizabeth, 1794-1875; Agnes, 1796-1874; Jane Margaret, 1800-1888; Catherine Parr, 1802-1899; Susanna, 1803-1885; Samuel, 1809-1867
One of the prominent characteristics of the nineteenth century was the increasing importance of women in the literary world. The efforts of publishers to satisfy the demands of a growing reading public and to stimulate adult education allowed many ladies to indulge their literary ambitions. The Strickland sisters, of Reydon Hall, Suffolk, all began their literary careers by writing children's books and contributing to annuals and periodicals, especially journals for women. two of them proceeded to pursue careers as historical biographers, and two more, after emigrating to Canada, wrote significant books on their pioneer experiences and natural history. A literary history of the family is therefore concerned with four facets of nineteenth-century literary taste: children's literature, journals for ladies, historical biography by women, and literature of the New World. This study of the family begins with a biographical chapter which includes references to hitherto unused manuscript letters. Chapter two is a survey of early and miscellaneous books and contributions to periodicals. the significance of Lives of the Queens of England as part of a feminist dialogue and as a book which appealed particularly to female readers is explored in chapter three. Other reasons for the work's popularity are considered in chapter four, and an appraisal of the Stricklands' biographical method and the quality of their judgement follows in chapter five. The variety of the family's literary production becomes apparent in s survey of the books written in Canada, but there contain Old World ties and a feminine perspective, in addition to indicating directions for Canadian literature.