This study traces the history of women's historical writing, reclaiming the lives of individual women historians, recovering women's historical writings from the past and focusing on how gender has shaped the genre of history. Mary Spongberg brings together for the first time an extensive survey of the progress of women's historical writing from the Renaissance to the present, demonstrating the continuities between women's historical writings in the past and the development of a distinctly woman-centred historiography. Writing Women's History since the Renaissance also examines the relationship between women's history and the development of feminist consciousness, suggesting that the study of history has alerted women to their unequal status and enabled them to use history to achieve women's rights. Whether feminist or anti-feminist, women who have had their historical writings published have served as role models for women seeking a voice in the public sphere, and have been instrumental in encouraging the growth of a feminist discourse.
Introduction: 'Hardly Any Women At All?'? Women Writers and the Gender of History -- Pt. I. Men's History. 1. The Classical Inheritance. 2. 'All Histories Are Against You': Women and the History Men -- Pt. II. Women's History. 3. 'Above Their Sex'? Women's History 'before' Feminism. 4. History's Romantic Heroines: Women's History and Revolutionary Feminism. 5. 'Heroines of Domestic Life': Women's History and Female Biography. 6. Women's History and the 'Woman Question'. 7. Amateurs or Professionals? Women's History in the Academy. 8. 'Clio's Consciousness Raised'? Women's Liberation and Women's History. 9. Liberating Women's History? Feminism and the Reconstruction of History. 10. Surpassing the History of Men: Women's History and Lesbian History -- Conclusion: Dealing with Difference.