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

Jenner, Stephanie (2011). Identity and the Victorian woman poet: working in and against the poetess tradition. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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