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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Writing Quote: 19th Century Women Wrote Diary Entries, Not Memoirs

Because they had to preserve the family secrets, nineteenth-century women wrote for themselves as diarists much more frequently than they wrote memoirs. The diary allowed confidences no one else was supposed to hear. The mere act of sitting down to write an autobiography broke the code of female respectability, because doing so required a woman to believe that her direct experience, rather than her relationships with others, was what gave meaning to her life.

Jill Ker Conway, When Memory Speaks, 1998 

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