British women poets and the romantic writing community by Stephen C. Behrendt

By Stephen C. Behrendt

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

British Romanticism was considered a cultural circulate outlined through a small crew of male poets. This publication offers ladies poets their right position within the literary culture of the time. Behrendt first ways the topic thematically, exploring the ways that the poems addressed either public matters and personal reviews. He subsequent examines using specific genres, together with the sonnet and diverse different lengthy and brief kinds. within the concluding chapters, Behrendt explores the impression of nationwide id, delivering the 1st wide examine of Romantic-era poetry by means of ladies from Scotland and eire.

In getting better the lives and paintings of those girls, Behrendt unearths their energetic participation in the wealthy cultural group of writers and readers through the British Isles. This examine can be a key source for students, lecturers, and scholars in British literary experiences, women’s reports, and cultural history.

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Moreover, within this paradigm, nothing stands still: at every moment something is being altered, lost, or forgotten. “It is not now as it has been of yore,” Wordsworth wrote ruefully, for “there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth” (“Ode” [1807]). The cost of existence in such a world—in which humanity’s innate bonds with nature and with the rest of humanity are increasingly subjected to stress, rupture, and alienation—is steep for everyone involved. The challenge faced alike by Romantic-era writers and citizens had fundamentally to do with the strength and resilience of the human spirit, which, in a world of such volatility, was forced more and more to rely on the individual rather than the group, the private rather than the public, and the heart rather than the head.

To see how this sort of gendered thinking functioned in practice, we can consider the review of Hemans’s The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy and The Sceptic that appeared in the British Review in 1820, which reflects assumptions about women poets and their works that had been bandied about in the public press for the preceding several decades. Of Hemans’s poems, the reviewer writes: We know not whether the Authoress of these Poems will consider it a compliment, or otherwise, when we state that in examining her “Modern Greece” for review (see our work for August, 1817) .

I have deliberately adopted these multiple perspectives to show how they reveal somewhat different— but nevertheless complementary—views of the poets and their works. Even in an extended study like this one, there is not space to examine everything by everyone, nor do I wish in any event to risk suggesting yet another hierarchy by trying to rank poets, themes, or poetic forms. Rather, my objective in being selective rather than exhaustive is to open up the field to still more scrutiny than it has received even in these recent, more receptive and enlightened decades.

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