University Press Copublishing Division / Bucknell University Press
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-61148-485-4 • Hardback • December 2012 • $120.00 • (£92.00)
978-1-61148-594-3 • Paperback • June 2014 • $60.99 • (£47.00)
978-1-61148-486-1 • eBook • November 2012 • $58.00 • (£45.00)
Deborah Kennedy is professor of English at Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she specializes in British literature of the eighteenth century and the romantic period. She is the author of Helen Maria Williams and the Age of Revolution (Bucknell University Press) and she has published on a variety of subjects, including women’s literary history, women and popular music, eighteenth-century art history, and the British poetic tradition.
List of Illustrations
Chapter One: Introducing the Poetic Sisters
Chapter Two: “She Triumphs with a Song”: The Poetry of Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
Chapter Three: Singing Her Heart Out: Elizabeth Rowe
Chapter Four: The Countess of Hertford and the Poetry of the English Landscape
Chapter Five: Sarah Dixon, the Kentish Poetess
Chapter Six: Mary Jones, the Oxford Poet
Chapter Seven: Sisterly Muses
This articulate, accessible book focuses on the lives, careers, legacies, and most importantly the verses of five women poets of the early 18th century: Anne Finch, Elizabeth Rowe, the Countess of Hertford, Sarah Dixon, and Mary Jones. Kennedy (Saint Mary's Univ., Halifax, Nova Scotia) builds on the work of critics and scholars such as Roger Lonsdale, Paula Backscheider, Janet Todd, William McCarthy, Isobel Grundy, Margaret Doody, and others who, over the past 25 years, have established the importance of women writers of this period and explored their poetic achievement. The recovery and recuperation of 18th-century women poets is itself an achievement that merits consideration both on its own terms and for literary history's sake. Kennedy's study is significant in its depth of treatment of these five poets, presenting each in view of her distinctive poetic voice and resonances with other poets of the time, including one another. Engagingly written, beautifully illustrated (visually and poetically), this study should attract a new generation of critics and scholars who will find the author's contextualization of the material and interpretations of individual poems fresh, provocative, and nuanced. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and general readers.
— Choice Reviews
Poetic Sisters is a wonderfully accurate and clear map of the terrain of women’s poetry in early eighteenth-century England. . .Professor Kennedy’s book is classic literary criticism, one might almost say “Johnsonian” in that word’s very best senses. . . .Kennedy’s book is a testament to uncommon research and scholarship in discovering letters and searching manuscripts. And the book is a gift of accessibility to readers in its reprinting the full text of many of her poets’ poems. Poetic Sisters is a major contribution to our understanding of early eighteenth-century English poetry.
— The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer
[This] is a beautiful, vital book--the sort that one borrows repeatedly from the library before finally buying. Kennedy elegantly traces out the personal and professional connections among five eighteenth-century poets. . . .Kennedy's work provides a resounding riposte by demonstrating the value of historically based study and the ways that canonization adversely affects women writers. . . .[This is a] comprehensive, careful, and groundbreaking study.
— Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature