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British Women Poets of the Romantic Era

, 920 pages
December 2000



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British Women Poets of the Romantic Era

An Anthology

During the Romantic period, women such as Joanna Baillie, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Felicia Hemans, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Mary Robinson, Anna Seward, Charlotte Smith, and Mary Tighe were among the most highly respected and widely read practitioners of the art of poetry. In fact, Hemans was one of the bestselling authors of the nineteenth century, and Baillie was the foremost playwright of her time.

In British Women Poets of the Romantic Era, Paula R. Feldman introduces modern readers to the range and diversity of women's poetic expression, making available more texts by more women poets of the Romantic era than have ever been collected in a single book in the twentieth century. Feldman provides detailed introductions for each of the sixty-two poets, chronicling their lives, poetic careers, and critical reputations. This groundbreaking volume not only documents the richness of their literary contributions but also changes our thinking about the poetry of the English Romantic period.

Paula R. Feldman holds the C. Wallace Martin Chair in English at the University of South Carolina. She is coeditor of The Journals of Mary Shelley and Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices and is editor of Felicia Hemans's Records of Woman.

"Will inevitably shape interpretation and mark out a canon... Feldman is... [a] disciplined, lucid, and meticulous editor... [Her] comprehensive collection enables the reader to see what working-class poets such as Janet Little and Christian Milne were writing, and to sample such sports as the Countess of Blessington's satire on sentiment... and Catherine Maria Fanshawe's parody of Wordsworth's combination of pantheism and literalism."

"A singular resource providing information found in no other reference work... This anthology of works by 62 British women poets writing between 1770 and 1840... makes it clear that Romantic poetry encompasses much more than Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats."

"A wide-ranging selection of poems written by British women from all kinds of backgrounds and geographical locations... Detailed, scholarly headnotes... [provide] a clearer, more inflected understanding of this outstandingly prolific period in the history of women's writing."