By Stephen C. Behrendt
This compelling research recovers the misplaced lives and poems of British ladies poets of the Romantic period. Stephen C. Behrendt finds the variety and variety in their writings, providing new views at the paintings of dozens of ladies whose poetry has lengthy been overlooked or marginalized in conventional literary heritage.
British Romanticism was regarded as a cultural circulation outlined by way of a small team of male poets. This booklet provides ladies poets their right position within the literary culture of the time. Behrendt first methods the topic thematically, exploring the ways that the poems addressed either public issues and personal stories. He subsequent examines using specific genres, together with the sonnet and numerous different lengthy and brief types. within the concluding chapters, Behrendt explores the influence of nationwide id, supplying the 1st broad research of Romantic-era poetry through ladies from Scotland and eire.
In getting better the lives and paintings of those ladies, Behrendt unearths their lively participation in the wealthy cultural group of writers and readers through the British Isles. This examine might be a key source for students, academics, and scholars in British literary experiences, women’s experiences, and cultural history.
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A quarter of a century later, in 1833, Wordsworth penned his memorable judgment that Charlotte Smith was “a lady to whom English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to be either acknowledged or remembered” (note to “Stanzas Suggested in a Steamboat off Saint Bees’ Heads,” Poetical Works, 4:399). Meanwhile, in 1826 the Monthly Magazine concluded its review of Louisa Stuart Costello’s new collection, Songs of a Stranger (1825), by observing that It has lately been said, that since the death of Byron our poetry is at a low ebb.
Why this was so, and how the situation has been modiﬁed in consequence of recent developments like the recovery of historically neglected or marginalized writers, forms part of the subject of this book. The more I thought about the book I wanted to write, then, the more it became clear to me that the road lay through a literary and cultural landscape that is still being remapped in a number of important ways. Part of the challenge lies in the fact that this new map has not yet been completed—nor is it likely to be in the near future.
Furthermore, because according to Williams poetry reveals an author’s aggregate character (including the author’s habits, knowledge, thoughts, and feelings), then the poetry of women—who “take its [the age’s] spirit from the men”— must itself inevitably reveal the character not of the women themselves but rather of the men who “compose” and “direct” both their creative work and the women themselves. It is not a pretty picture, but it is one that was both common and pervasive already in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Mary Shelley was only recently dead and the age’s two most celebrated “poetesses,” Hemans and Landon, lay less than a generation in the past.
British women poets and the romantic writing community by Stephen C. Behrendt