Katharine Rogers

Katharine Rogers, a Professor Emerita of English from Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, now lives in Bethesda, Maryland. She has published many articles and books on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and, since retirement, has pursued her interests in animals and in the Oz books of L. Frank Baum. Alerted to women’s issues in 1961, when she was forced out of her job for becoming pregnant, she started research on her first book, The Troublesome Helpmate: A History of Misogyny in Literature (University of Washington Press, 1966). There she analyzed the hostility to women that has run through the western tradition from its roots in the Bible and classical literature up to the present and that appears in major authors such as Milton, Dickens, and Lawrence; in those days, most established critics still denied that such hostility existed in mainstream authors. Two succeeding books, Feminism in Eighteenth-Century England (University of Illinois Press, 1982) and Frances Burney: The World of “Female Difficulties” (Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1990), discuss early women writers. Her latest books also reflect her interest in women’s studies. She realized that her childhood love for the fairy stories of L. Frank Baum resulted in part from his feminism and featured this in L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz (St. Martin’s Press, 2002). Her books on cats and dogs – The Cat and the Human Imagination (University of Michigan Press, 1998), First Friend: A History of Dogs and Humans (St. Martin’s, 2005), and Cat (Reaktion, 2006) – include the influence of gender stereotypes on our attitude toward these animals.