By Claudia T. Kairoff
Anna Seward and her occupation defy effortless placement into the normal sessions of British literature. Raised to emulate the nice poets John Milton and Alexander Pope, maturing within the Age of Sensibility, and publishing in the course of the early Romantic period, Seward exemplifies the eighteenth-century transition from classical to Romantic. Claudia Thomas Kairoff’s very good severe examine deals clean readings of Anna Seward’s most crucial writings and firmly establishes the poet as a pivotal determine between late-century British writers.
Reading Seward’s writing along fresh scholarship on gendered conceptions of the poetic profession, patriotism, provincial tradition, sensibility, and the sonnet revival, Kairoff conscientiously reconsiders Seward’s poetry and significant prose. Written because it used to be within the final a long time of the eighteenth century, Seward’s paintings doesn't with ease healthy into the dominant types of Enlightenment-era verse or the tropes that signify Romantic poetry. instead of seeing this as a disadvantage for figuring out Seward’s writing inside of a selected literary sort, Kairoff argues that this enables readers to determine in Seward’s works the eighteenth-century roots of Romantic-era poetry.
Arguably the main trendy lady poet of her lifetime, Seward’s writings disappeared from renowned and scholarly view presently after her dying. After approximately 2 hundred years of serious forget, Seward is attracting renewed realization, and with this e-book Kairoff makes a robust and convincing case for together with Anna Seward's notable literary achievements one of the most vital of the past due eighteenth century.
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Extra info for Anna Seward and the End of the Eighteenth Century
Seward’s complicated relationship with under suspicious circumstances 29 the clergy in Lichﬁeld and beyond invites analysis. Likewise, Seward’s resemblance to the London bluestockings requires study. 15 Seward inherited her role in Lichﬁeld’s cultural life from her parents, who entertained all local residents and visitors distinguished in arts and letters. Following their example, she presided in her drawing room until late in life, often holding dramatic readings or concerts in addition to hosting visits.
Greer consulted Walter Scott’s threevolume edition of Seward’s poetry with his biographical preface (443n58). Scott had been among the many promising young writers Seward championed during her career. She had a taste for Scottish verse that was sufﬁciently reﬁned (such as Burns’s) and for “authentic” antique works (such as Ossian’s and Chatterton’s), which meant she was destined to appreciate Scott’s poetry in volumes such as The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). At the time of Seward’s death, Scott was a popular poet but not yet the great novelist who later commanded public adulation.
Pohl’s and Schellenberg’s volume features Janice Blathwayt’s extensive bibliography, which cites manuscript collections of Seward’s letters that clarify her personality, relationships, and writings, and the degree to which she manipulated these in her edited, posthumous correspondence. The volume also includes an article by Susan Staves that examines the relationship between Church of England clergy and the bluestockings, and one by Gary Kelly that addresses Clara Reeve’s status as a provincial bluestocking.