Writers such as Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf have long held a place in the literary canon. In this survey, we will read them alongside other woman writers who, though less known today, were no less influential in their own time. In the process, we will explore the act of writing as a source of both freedom and constraint for women. Denied a public voice, many of these writers found that they could only achieve their political and financial goals through their writing. How did these women use the written word to negotiate political and financial constraints? And how did women's writing remain constrained despite their negotiations? As we explore these questions, we will read works by authors such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Catherine Macaulay and Angela Carter; class requirements will include weekly blog posts, two short papers and a final exam.