This module is concerned with the possibilities open to nineteenth-century women poets and the ways in which these writers responded to social circumstances and expectations. It seeks to ask key questions about the formal possibilities open to women writers, beginning with Charlotte Smith’s reinvigoration of the sonnet sequence at the beginning of the century, moving through the possibilities offered by the obvious piety of the hymn form, through Barrett Browning’s multifarious, and not always effective strategies for establishing herself as a major poet, through Christina Rossetti’s experiments with fairy tale and other forms, and on to the poets of the turn of the century – Michael Field, Augusta Webster, Amy Levy – and their response to their ‘poetic mothers’. This module will, of course, engage with the feminist agenda of these poets, and the relationship of poetry to its social, political, and literary milieu.

Term(s) offered: Autumn term module; 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Credit: 3.0
General Education: II A 1 or III A