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The Muses of Resistance : Laboring-Class Women's Poetry in Britain, 1739-1796 - Donna Landry

The Muses of Resistance

Laboring-Class Women's Poetry in Britain, 1739-1796

Hardcover Published: 26th October 1990
ISBN: 9780521374125
Number Of Pages: 336

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In this original and challenging study, Donna Landry shows how an understanding of the remarkable but neglected careers of laboring-class women poets in the eighteenth century provokes a reassessment of our ideas concerning the literature of the period. Poets such as the washerwoman Mary Collier, the milkwoman Ann Yearsley, the domestic servants Mary Leapor and Elizabeth Hands, the dairywoman Janet Little, and the slave Phillis Wheatley can be seen adapting the conventions of polite verse for the purposes of social criticism. Some of their strategies relate to earlier texts, revealing ideological blind spots in the tropes of male poets. Elsewhere, they made interesting innovations in poetic form. Mary Leapor's 'Crumble Hall', for instance, by attending to sexual politics, extends the critique of aristocratic privilege in the country-house poem beyond that of Pope and Crabbe. In Ann Yearsley's verse, landscape description, historical narrative, and philosophical meditation are infused with political comment. Historically important, technically impressive and often aesthetically innovative, the poetic achievements of these plebeian women writers constitute an exciting literary discovery.

Industry Reviews

"For anyone interested in women's poetry, in class politics and art, or in eighteenth-century literature, this book is a real find." The Women's Review of Books

Sensibility and slavery: the discourse of working women-s verse
The resignation of Mary Collier: some problems in feminist literary history
An English Sappho brilliant, young and dead? Mary Leapor laughs at the fathers
The complex contradictions of Ann Yearsley: working-class writer, bourgeois subject?
Laboring in pastures new: the two Elizabeths
Other others: the marginality of cultural difference
The 1790s and after: -Revolutions that as yet have no model-
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521374125
ISBN-10: 052137412X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 26th October 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.41 x 16.99  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.74

Earn 402 Qantas Points
on this Book