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Italian Women Writers : Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism, 1870-1910

Mitchell, Katharine (2014) Italian Women Writers : Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism, 1870-1910. Toronto University Press. ISBN 9781442646414

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Italy’s late nineteenth century saw the emergence of women writers as novelists and journalists writing for a growing readership. Their rise in popularity was facilitated by rapid industrialization and the expansion of the press, and contemporary male writers held them in high regard. Italian Women Writers looks at the work of three women writers who were well known in the period 1866 to 1910: Maria Antonietta Torriani (1840-1920), whose pen name was La Marchesa Colombi, Anna Radius Zuccari (1846-1918), who wrote with the pseudonym Neera, and Matilde Serao (1857-1927). Through their focus on domestic issues and their use of the newly established national language, they were able to address the big social and political issues of the day, not least ‘the woman question’, at the very time when female emancipation was taking hold in the collective consciousness.