"...substantial contribution to African-American Studies and women's studies." Mississippi Quarterly"A bravura performance by an accomplished scholar... it strikes a perfect balance between insightful literary analysis and historical investigation." Eighteenth-Century Studies"... an impressive study of a wide range of writers.... Foster's work is both scholarly and accessible. Her prose is economical and direct, making this book enjoyable as well as instructive." Belles Lettres"... an impressively wide-ranging discussion of texts and contexts... " Signs"Foster has written a fine book that provides the reader with a context for understanding the importance of the written word for women who chose to 'set the record straight ." Journal of American History"... fascinating, meticulously researched... Likely to prove seminal in the field... highly recommended... " Library Journal"Written by Herself comprises a volume of remarkable female characters whose desires for social change often made them catalysts for spiritual awakening in their own times." MultiCultural Review"... an outstanding piece of scholarship... Foster's book offers deeply intelligent, provocative, totally accessible analysis of a tradition and of writers still not sufficiently read and taught." American Literature"Well written and thoroughly researched. Highly recommended... " ChoiceThe first comprehensive cultural history of literature by African American women prior to the 20th century. From the oral histories of Alice, a slave born in 1686, to the literary tradition that included Jarena Lee and Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert, this literature was argument, designed to correct or to instruct an audience often ignorant about or even hostile to black women.