The poetic oeuvre of 'Michael Field': Collaboration, aestheticism and desire in the writings of Katharine Harris Bradley (1846 - 1914) and Edith Emma Cooper (1862 - 1913)

Mitton, Matthew William

September 2008

Thesis or dissertation

© 2008 Matthew William Mitton. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The last few decades have witnessed an immense resurgence in critical and academic interest in the lives and writings of nineteenth-century women poets, many of whom had been forgotten or ignored for the greater part of the twentieth century. From the 1970s onwards there has been a steady increase of articles, monographs and critical editions which have sought to reclaim and reinstate such seminal figures as Felicia Hemans, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti and Charlotte Mew. Few would now deny that writers such as Barrett Browning and Rossetti are major figures of Victorian poetry, as integral to the canon as Robert Browning, Swinburne or Tennyson, but for nearly a century, despite their formidable reputation in their own time (both women were considered for the position of Poet Laureate), their work was dismissed as minor, inferior to their male peers, and they were allowed to fall from view. Their recovery ran parallel with the rise of feminist studies in the 1970s, which saw the resurrection and reappraisal of these forgotten, suppressed voices as being central to the intellectual cause.

One of the more curious, idiosyncratic voices of women's poetry to re-emerge and take centre stage at the close of the nineteenth century and to be rediscovered at the fin de millennium was that of 'Michael Field'.

Department of English, The University of Hull
Heilmann, Ann
Sponsor (Organisation)
University of Hull; Carl Baron Memorial Fund
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