The most complete collection of Mary Tighe’s poetry published to date.
Mary Blachford Tighe (1772–1810) was a crucial force in shaping British Romanticism. Her influential six-canto epic, Psyche, or the Legend of Love (1805), along with her shorter poems, engaged the central issues of the period, often in advance of writers now considered canonical. With remarkable vitality and virtuosity, Tighe wrote about the tensions between love and loss, duty and desire, the spiritual and the sensuous, nation and family, and the Irish and the British, all while struggling with the debilitating illness that eventually claimed her life.
This scholarly edition collects for the first time dozens of recently discovered poems, accompanied by Tighe’s own illustrations, and identifies eight false attributions. A historical and biographical introduction from editors Paula R. Feldman and Brian C. Cooney discusses Tighe’s work within a larger social and political context, placing renewed emphasis on the conflicts she experienced as a Methodist with Anglo-Irish roots. Editorial annotations shed new light on Tighe’s life, revealing for the first time, for example, that her songs were performed during her lifetime on the Dublin stage.
Meticulously edited, this volume builds on recent pioneering scholarship to restore and burnish Tighe’s reputation as a major Romantic-era poet.
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