Eighteenth-Century Women Poets
Who were the women poets of the eighteenth century? More than a hundred are represented in this anthology, yet only few have hitherto featured in conventional surveys and anthologies of eighteenth-century verse. Unlike the women who wrote fiction, the vast majority of those who wrote verse have been ignored and forgotten since their own day. Yet they speak with vigour and immediacy, in a range of moods from the resentful and melancholic to the humorous and
exuberant; about the world they lived in and their experience of life in town and country, of love and marriage. Nor were they all from one social class: as the biographical headnotes reveal, women at all levels of society, washerwomen and duchesses, both wrote and found their way into print. Usually most
at ease writing in informal and unpretentious verse, the women poets grew in confidence during the century, writing eventually in a great variety of poetic forms and on public as well as private topics. The writers in this wide-ranging and unpredictable anthology open a new perspective on their age, and provide the grounds for a reassessment of a neglected aspect of its literature.
Roger Lonsdale edited the New Oxford Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse.
Lonsdale has resurrected more than a hundred witty women and set them glistening and pulsing with life and spirits before us. * Claire Tomalin, Independent * a delight to read, an almost entirely unfamiliar collection of poems, commenting on a wide range of human feelings and experience with outstanding wit, humour and honesty * Julia Briggs, The Times *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?