Women Writers of the Romantic Period: New Anthologies and ResourcesRomantic Women Poets 1770-1838. Vol. 1 (revised ed.). Ed. Andrew Ashfield. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-7190-5308-0. Price: £14.99 ($27.95).Romantic Women Poets: An Anthology. Ed. Duncan Wu. London: Blackwell, 1997. ISBN: 0-631-20330-3. Price: £14.99 ($34.95).British Women Poets of the Romantic Era: An Anthology. Ed. Paula Feldman. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-8018-5430-x. Price: $60.Women's Writing of the Romantic Period, 1789-1836: An Anthology. Ed. Harriet Devine Jump. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-7486-0915-6. Price: £14.99 ($25).Approaches to Teaching British Women Poets of the Romantic Period. Eds. Stephen Behrendt and Harriet Kramer Linkin. New York: Modern Language Association, 1997. ISBN: 0-87352-744-5. Price: $18.Nineteenth-Century Women Poets. Eds. Isobel Armstrong and Joseph Bristow, with Cath Sharrock. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. ISBN: 0-19-811290-4. Price: £25.[Notice]

  • Adriana Craciun

…plus d’informations

  • Adriana Craciun
    Loyola University Chicago

In his introduction to Romantic Women Poets, Andrew Ashfield traces his own anthology's origins back to the late eighteenth-century national anthologies of British poets, such as those by Samuel Johnson, Robert Anderson, and Thomas Park. These national anthologies excluded women poets and established the canonical traditions that, two hundred years later, all of the volumes in this review are struggling to re-envision. The recent resurgence of critical interest in Romantic-period women writers, particularly poets, however, has materialized in a number of excellent and affordable new anthologies and resources for those who teach, study, or just love to read these remarkable poets. As anyone who teaches Romantic-period women knows, new editions of forgotten works have been appearing over the last few years in such series as Oxford Women Writers in English, 1350-1850 and Broadview Literary Texts. Unfortunately, many of these editions, such as Oxford's Poems of Charlotte Smith, go our of print before they have a chance to be taught, making some of these modern editions even more ephemeral than their Romantic predecessors (Smith being a perfect example). Undoubtedly all of the anthologies in this review will not survive in the increasingly competitive market of Romantic women's writings, but certainly each contributes a distinct vision of these women writers that deserves to be taken into account. Those interested may browse the table of contents for many of these anthologies on the world wide web at Romantic Circles' Anthologies Page, edited by Harriet Kramer Linkin, Laura Mandell and Rita Railey. Andrew Ashfield's Romantic Women Poets 1770-1838 Vol. 1 is a revised version of his 1995 first edition, one of the earliest and best editions of Romantic women poets. This collection's greatest virtue is its unabashed Romanticism—the editor "attempts to chart the possibilities of a female sublime or counter sublime" and succeeds wonderfully. While many scholars were developing innovative models of women's poetic identity that emphasized their quotidian subject matter, their emphasis on beauty, not the sublime, and their "anxiety of authorship," Ashfield's 1995 edition quietly asserted a very different vision of women poets' relationship to such canonical Romantic preoccupations as the sublime and the transcendent self. That scholarship has already begun to question these earlier models of women's evocations of the sublime (or lack thereof) no doubt in part reflects the influence of such anthologies and the neglected material they bring to light. For complete and authoritative full-length texts by women Romantic poets look no further than Duncan Wu's Romantic Women Poets. Of all the anthologies discussed in this review, Wu's is the most useful and impressive as a collection of complete poems and in several cases, complete volumes of poems. For centuries these poems have appeared to us in fragmented, unrecognizable shapes, if at all. Now we can read entire volumes that are rightly given places of honor in their completeness: Mary Tighe's Psyche, Mary Robinson's Sappho and Phaon, Ann Batten Cristall's Poetical Sketches, to name just a few. Two complete volumes of Charlotte Smith's work are included (The Emigrants and Elegiac Sonnets (3rd edition), as well as the complete poem "Beachy Head"), making this anthology the single-best source for Smith's poetry now that the Oxford edition of her work is already out of print. Granted, some of these complete selections—e.g., Cristall and Robinson—are already available in reliable electronic editions free of charge from the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center, but readers without access to these electronic editions will find this edition invaluable. Wu prefaces each poet with an essay designed to place the works in intellectual, biographical and historical context, …