How Many Books By Female Authors Did You Read At School?

Designed by Ariel Davis
How many books by female authors were you taught at school? It's an interesting question posed on Twitter by Scott Wilson, a guy from Glasgow who's training to become an English teacher.
"It's only now I feel qualified to look back and reflect on my own high school education," Wilson wrote. "In my six years, we read two female writers, both of whom were poets: Lochhead & Duffy. Did your school do better?"
The responses he's received have been illuminating and at times, pretty disappointing. Quite a few people can remember being taught Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird at school. The poetry of Sylvia Plath and Carol Ann Duffy (who became Britain's first female poet laureate in 2009) also appear to have been popular.
However, several respondents said they were unable to remember being taught a single play by a female writer. Check out a selection of responses to the tweet below.
It's obviously worth pointing out that unless you've made a list of every single book you've ever read (and if you had the forethought to do this, I'm jealous), it's difficult to know exactly how many books by female authors you were taught at school. I was lucky enough to have an amazing teacher for both GCSE and A-level English, Mrs Baker, who taught us Pride & Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, an excellent collection of Alice Munro short stories, and poetry by Carol Ann Duffy. I can also remember being taught Anne Frank's The Diary of Anne Frank and Anne Fine's Flour Babies at primary school.
But like some of the people who responded to Wilson's tweet, I can't remember being taught a single play by a female writer. Perhaps this is partly attributable to the fact that a single male playwright, William Shakespeare, is so widely taught in schools?
Read These Stories Next:

More from Books & Art

R29 Original Series