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Ladies of letters

Posted by David FG on September 26, 2005

In Reply to: Ladies of letters posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 25, 2005

: : : What does the phrase "ladies of letters" mean?

: : Women who write, literary women. Parallel to men of letters. They don't have to write original works--they can write commentaries and reviews as well. Generally the "letters" in men of letters refers to literature, rather than scholarly writing. I don't think "ladies of letters" is a common phrase. Some would doubtless prefer "women of letters," or possibly literary women. Comments, ladies? SS

: I agree absolutely with Smokey. I have never heard "ladies of letters" and I think it's an awful phrase. Downright coy.

It is also, incidentally, the title of a BBC Radio 4 comedy series, which has been running, intermittently, for several years.