We've all heard of Jane Austen and perhaps of Ann Radcliffe and Maria Edgeworth, but what about Eliza Parsons, Mary Meeke or Charlotte Dacre?
They were writing at the same time as Austen, but in very different styles and genres, and were hugely popular.
Their books and those of over 400 other women writers are among a collection of 72,000 volumes discovered in the Corvey library - a collection put together by two book-mad German aristocrats and stored in their castle in Germany.
This treasure trove of neglected British literature from the mid 1790s to the 1830s, has now become available to Sheffield Hallam University English Department.
They have launched an Adopt-an-Author Scheme to encourage their degree students to investigate the lives and works of the female novelists in the collection.
Emma Clery is research fellow with the project, which is making their findings available via an internet database. Clare Jenkins has been talking to her and to some of her students.