Friday, 27 July 2007

Back from the Bahamas

The Sistahs have been on holidays, where they bathed, from bathing-machines, in voluminous yet child-sized bathing costumes. It was all very good for their lungs. Getting away from their father didn't hurt, either.

Many questions have been asked in their absence, so let us begin to catch up.

MINDY ASKS:Is it still easier to get published if you write under a male moniker or is the playing field level now?

Charlotte says: There are two parts to this question, and they do not necessarily have anything to do with each other. Of course it is easier for a woman to get published than it was in my day, but then everything is easier than it was in my day, and particularly than it was for me.

Anne explains: We were careful to give ourselves names that did not actually indicate that we were of the stronger sex. 'Currer', 'Ellis' and 'Acton' are not gender-specific names; we were merely counting on people opting for maleness as the default position. If people were silly enough to fall for it then that was hardly our fault. We did not mind hoisting people with their own sexist petard, but we did not wish to lie.

Emily adds: Not like that coward soul George Eliot or that pathetic cheat Mrs Henry Wood or that complete sooky la la Henry Handel Richardson, whom I believe was one of yours. Pffft.