English Women's Poetry, 1649-1714: Politics, Community, and Linguistic Authority

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This is the first study to reconstruct the political origins of English women's poetry between the execution of Charles I and the death of Queen Anne. Carol Barash's book shows that, between Katherine Philips 1632-64 and Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea 1661-1720, an English women's poetic tradition developed as a part of the larger political shifts in these years, and particularly in women writers' fascination with the figure of the female monarch. Writers discussed include Aphra Behn, Katherine Philips, Anne Killigrew, Jane Barker, and Anne Finch. Based on extensive archival research in England and the United States, English Women's Poetry, 1649-1714 argues that ideas about women's voices and women's communities were crucial to the shaping of an English national literature after the civil wars. Women enter print culture - as poets and as women - by situating their writing in defence of embattled monarchy. Women poets are especially fascinated with the figure of the female monarch both real and mythic. Their sense of poetic legitimacy derives from the communities they generate around figures of female authority, particularly James II's second wife, Mary of Modena, and later Queen Anne.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a clearly written, well-argued, and informative book."--Choice

"It is a work of scholarship...Barash's lucid writing style and the intriguing women she details should also bring pleasure, and enlightenment, to anyone who cares about the history, and politics, of English poetry."--The Sunday Star-Ledger

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198119739
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/27/1997
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Primary Sources
1 English and Continental Origins: Queens, Heroes, Prophets
2 Women's Community and the Exiled King: Katherine Philips's Society of Friendship
3 Eros, Myth, and Monarchy in Aphra Behn
4 The Female Monarch and the Women Poet: Mary of Modena, Anne Killigrew, and Jane Barker
5 Queen Anne among the Poets
6 Anne Finch: Gender, Politics, and Myths of the Private Self
App. A Order of Poems in Katherine Philips's Manuscripts and Poems (1664)
App. B Lucasia Poems
App. C Anne Kiligrew's Paintings
App. D Chatwin's Pindarique to Killegrew
App. E Order of Poems by Jane Barker in Poetical Recreations (1688), Part I
App. F Order of Poems in Magdalen College MS 343, Barker's 'Poems on Several Occasions, in 3 Parts'
App. G Finch's Elegy on James II
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