March is International Women’s History Month, and over on the OUPblog we’ve selected some feminist-friendly classics from our Oxford World’s Classics series. Below you’ll find a mixture of fiction, politics, and religion, and while some will probably be familiar, there’s a couple of less conventional choices for a feminist list thrown in. Agree with these choices? Disagree? What have we missed? Let us know!
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
This seminal 18th century work reveals Wollstonecraft’s developing understanding of women’s involvement in the political and social life of the nation.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Yes, Reader, Jane does marry Mr Rochester, but only on her own terms.
A Room of One’s Own, and Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf
In these works, Virginia Woolf considers with energy and wit the implications of the historical exclusion of women from education and from economic independence.
The Awakening and Other Stories by Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin was one of the most individual and adventurous of nineteenth-century American writers, whose fiction explored new and often startling territory.
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
“’But it’s bad – it’s bad,’ Mr Tulliver added – `a woman’s no business wi’ being so clever; it’ll turn to trouble, I doubt.’”
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Elizabeth Gaskell’s second novel challenged contemporary social attitudes by taking as its heroine a fallen woman.
The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner
Lyndall, Schreiner’s articulate young feminist, marks the entry of the controversial New Woman into nineteenth-century fiction.
While not a conventional choice for a list of feminist works, this is a remarkable story of a woman who knew her own mind and stuck to her principles come what may.
The Yellow Wall-Paper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“The Yellow Wall-Paper” is regarded as one of the most important early works of American feminist literature, illustrating nineteenth-century attitudes towards women’s physical and mental health.
For a full explanation of each inclusion, read the blog post.