May 17 – Happy Birthday, Anna Brownell Jameson

Posted on May 17, 2016

She worked, she traveled, she read books, she went to museums. And through all of those things, she took notes and made mental connections and then she wrote and wrote and wrote.

Although Anna Brownell Jameson lived during a time when women were not encouraged to express themselves publicly, Jameson became a published author and earned some fame for her writings.

She was born on this date in 1794 in Dublin, Ireland. Her family moved to England when she was just four years old, and she is considered a British writer.

The first book Jameson published was a narrative of her travels in Italy, while acting as a governess to a young pupil. She fictionalized her experiences by creating a fictional character who saw what she saw and did what she did. Later in her life she wrote about her “Rambles in Canada,” and I was impressed by how widely she explored, including visiting Indian settlements.

Another published work of Jameson's is Characteristics of Women. She analyzed several of the heroines in William Shakespeare's plays, and her perspective was hailed as being fresh and original. Jameson also wrote about women in a book called The Relative Position of Mothers and Governesses. Jameson was a good spokesperson for education for girls and women, and she was seen as an early feminist.

Some of Jameson's writing is description and analysis of art: Companion to the Private Galleries, Handbook to the Public Galleries, and Sacred and Legendary Art.

Also on this date:

Galician Literature Day

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