By Claudia T. Kairoff
Anna Seward and her profession defy effortless placement into the normal sessions of British literature. Raised to emulate the good 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 first-class serious examine bargains 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 occupation, patriotism, provincial tradition, sensibility, and the sonnet revival, Kairoff rigorously reconsiders Seward’s poetry and significant prose. Written because it was once within the final a long time of the eighteenth century, Seward’s paintings doesn't conveniently healthy into the dominant versions 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 a specific literary variety, Kairoff argues that this enables readers to work out in Seward’s works the eighteenth-century roots of Romantic-era poetry.
Arguably the main fashionable girl poet of her lifetime, Seward’s writings disappeared from renowned and scholarly view almost immediately after her loss of life. After approximately 2 hundred years of severe forget, Seward is attracting renewed realization, and with this ebook Kairoff makes a robust and convincing case for together with Anna Seward's notable literary achievements one of the most vital of the overdue eighteenth century.
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Additional resources for Anna Seward and the End of the Eighteenth Century
And she has suffered the invariable fate of such,” so that “their only hope of survival is to be restored as ‘period pieces’ ” (9). Although Ashmun advises caution when approaching Seward’s letters on the grounds that “the emotional nature of the poetess gave her a lofty contempt for mere accuracy” (xiii), Pearson takes the view that Seward sincerely expressed her feelings and opinions without regard for those of her correspondents and that she was adamant about maintaining what she believed to be under suspicious circumstances 25 facts unless presented with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
In some instances, such as her quest for national recognition, Seward pushed beyond the boundaries designated for her location, status, and gender. In most cases, Seward could be termed the missing link between Augustan and Romantic writing, combining a sophisticated knowledge of prosody with her ability to dramatize sensibility. Her preference for musical verse and rhetorical effects was derived from Pope; her passionate responses were typical of a generation enthralled (and sometimes appalled) by Rousseau.
Her characterization of Lady Miller’s assemblies as “ridiculous” no doubt derives in part from Johnson’s comment that an eminent acquaintance who participated in her contests “was a blockhead for his pains” (Boswell 2:336–37). But another source was Ruth Hesselgrave’s ironic account of the Millers and their activities, from which Ashmun drew her information. Lady Miller was doomed like Seward to a biographer who, like numerous scholars of the twentieth century’s ﬁrst three decades, found something intrinsically comical in the literary activities of gentlemen and ladies, especially ladies, of the eighteenth century.