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Identity and the Victorian woman poet: working in and against the poetess tradition

Jenner, Stephanie (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This study asserts that many Victorian women poets were engaged in processes of challenging, interrogating and reconstructing the Poetess Tradition. In doing so, these women asserted control over the construction of their identities as women writers. This contradicts the image unfortunately constructed by previous scholarship, where reclamation of Victorian women poets has depicted them as passive victims of culturally institutionalised oppression. Instead, many women poets devised and applied a complex amalgamation of poetic styles and methods to trouble the limitations placed upon them due to their gender. This study investigates some of the many methods by which women poets worked in and against the Poetess Tradition, namely the adoption of a pseudonym, the construction of a new female poetics, and the use of a dramatised speaker. Through engaging in these practices, the position and status of women poets in Victorian writing cultures will be redressed, and a more complex and nuanced picture of Victorian literary landscapes will be provided.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Mussell, Jim
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English Literature
Subjects:PN Literature (General)
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1719
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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