British Women Poets and the Romantic Writing Community by Stephen C. Behrendt

By Stephen C. Behrendt

This compelling examine recovers the misplaced lives and poems of British girls poets of the Romantic period. Stephen C. Behrendt unearths the diversity and variety in their writings, delivering new views at the paintings of dozens of ladies whose poetry has lengthy been neglected or marginalized in conventional literary background. British Romanticism was considered a cultural stream outlined by way of a small workforce of male poets. This ebook provides ladies poets their right position within the literary culture of the time. Behrendt first techniques the topic thematically, exploring the ways that the poems addressed either public matters and personal studies. He subsequent examines using specific genres, together with the sonnet and numerous different lengthy and brief types. within the concluding chapters, Behrendt explores the impression of nationwide identification, supplying the 1st vast examine of Romantic-era poetry via girls from Scotland and eire. In getting better the lives and paintings of those ladies, Behrendt finds their energetic participation in the wealthy cultural group of writers and readers during the British Isles. This research could be a key source for students, academics, and scholars in British literary stories, women's experiences, and cultural heritage. (July 2009)

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British Women Poets and the Romantic Writing Community

This compelling learn recovers the misplaced lives and poems of British girls poets of the Romantic period. Stephen C. Behrendt unearths the diversity and variety in their writings, delivering new views at the paintings of dozens of ladies whose poetry has lengthy been overlooked or marginalized in conventional literary background.

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The shadows—the ghostly “visible but impalpable form[s] of . . dead person[s]” (OED)—are those of the literally hundreds of women who wrote, published, and were discussed, both in the everyday discourse of the coffee house, the circulating library, the salon, and the street and in the more formal discourse of the reviewing press. Their works were emulated and contested, too, in the literary productions of their contemporaries, some of whose names and works are already familiar to us and some of whom comprise an as yet relatively undiscovered country.

Home,” The Improvisatrice, 2:323–24) Landon’s language captures with remarkable clarity both the external facts and the internal realities of the changes that were transforming England. The edenic valley, “little” and “sheltered,” is replaced during the poet’s absence by the urban excrescence of crowds, noise, and the industrial pollution (“heavy sounds,” “blackened,” “sullied”) that is a metaphor for the spiritual pollution of that fancied past that is irretrievably lost. At the same time, the literature of the British Romantic era reflects an intense awareness of the historicality (or historicity) of the contemporary experience.

Her diction is perfectly modern, yet highly poetical when the subject demands it. Her style is richly attired, and ordered with female taste and neatness. 26 Evident here is a familiar gendered aesthetic privileging in a woman’s writing of “female taste and neatness,” augmented by “tenderness and modesty,” which are presented as characteristics that outweigh more empirically quantifiable aspects of the work. It is the absence of precisely these “female” characteristics, and the presence instead of openly contestatory social or political critique, that Polwhele and others take as evidence of what they most consider to be “unnatural” in women’s poetry, whose subject matter their own cultural heritage conditions them to expect to be “delicate,” not assertive.

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