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By Stephen C. Behrendt

This compelling research 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, supplying new views at the paintings of dozens of ladies whose poetry has lengthy been missed or marginalized in conventional literary background. British Romanticism used to be considered a cultural move outlined via a small team of male poets. This e-book supplies girls 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 matters and personal stories. He subsequent examines using specific genres, together with the sonnet and diverse different lengthy and brief varieties. within the concluding chapters, Behrendt explores the impression of nationwide id, offering the 1st vast learn of Romantic-era poetry by means of girls from Scotland and eire. In improving the lives and paintings of those girls, Behrendt unearths their energetic participation in the wealthy cultural neighborhood of writers and readers through the British Isles. This examine should be a key source for students, lecturers, and scholars in British literary experiences, women's reviews, and cultural historical past. (July 2009)

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The magic tones which have added a new existence to the heart—the tremendous thoughts which have impressed a successive stamp on the fluctuation of ages, and which have almost changed the character of nations,—these have not proceeded from woman; but her sensibility, her tenderness, her grace, have not been lost nor misemployed: her genius has gradually risen with the opportunities which facilitated its ascent. ” The particular talent of women poets, according to Hale, lies in their unique ability to “reveal the glories and mysteries of Nature, and teach that ‘true self love and social are the same;’ that there is no pursuit really noble and good, that does not aim to promote the good of others, and no dignity and purity in man, that is not derived from his spiritual likeness to his Saviour.

For Mellor, feminine Romanticism is “based on a subjectivity constructed in relation to other subjectivities, hence a self that is fluid, absorptive, responsive, with permeable ego boundaries,” a self that “typically located its identity within a larger human nexus, a family or social community” (Romanticism and Gender, 209). The “masculine” and “feminine” poles, however, Mellor contends, “are finally not binary opposites but rather the endpoints on a continuum that ranges not only through the entire range of literary Romanticism but also through the corpus of individual writers” (11).

Of these only four—Mary Hays, Catherine Macaulay, Helen Maria Williams, and Mary Wollstonecraft—were women, and they made up a mostly eighteenth-century coterie. Macaulay had died already in 1791 and Wollstonecraft in 1797. By the turn of the century Hays had turned from the overt social and political radicalism of her early fiction (roughly through The Victim of Prejudice [1799]) toward the largely pedagogical fiction of her later years. And Williams published virtually nothing between 1803 and 1815, though she remained faithful to the republican cause until her death (Baylen and Grossman).

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