Author Biography

Susan Carlile is the author of Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind (University of Toronto Press, 2018). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, Chawton House Library, and the Armstrong Browning Library. She edited Masters of the Marketplace: British Women Novelists of the 1750s (Lehigh University Press, 2010) and co-edited Charlotte Lennox’s 1758 novel Henrietta (University Press of Kentucky, 2008) with Ruth Perry. She was co-chair of the ASECS Women’s Caucus 2019-2022 and is Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach.


“‘Before I am Quite Forgot’: Women’s Critical Literary Biography and the Future” extends the conversation about literary “worth” in the twenty-first century as it still judges and ignores women authors of the past. Specifically, this essay explores the role of women’s literary historical biography as a primary marker of worth and as a means of shaping legacy. I also discuss my (perhaps more non-traditional) experience—both my personal circumstances and particular material conditions—writing the critical biography Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind. Without a substantial biography that shows the scope of Lennox’s mind, her significant corpus, and her interventions in literary history and current events through publishing, this talented and popular author would not have had the opportunity to be fully taken seriously. This essay is designed to encourage potential biographers who study remarkable women authors of past centuries around the world. It also asserts the value of the #MeToo movement and social media for more robust legacy making.


Biography, Women, Charlotte Lennox, Publishing, #MeToo, Social Media, Frances Burney, William Strahan, Samuel Johnson, Siri Hustvedt, Miriam Small, Elaine Showalter, Devoney Looser, Audre Lorde, Betty Friedan, O M Brack, Margaret Dalziel, Margaret Doody, Lana L. Dalley, Kellie Holzer, Josefa Amar y Borbón, Meta Forkel-Liebeskind, Queen MƏntƏwwab, Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Smart, Karenza Sutton-Bennett, Kelly Plante