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Anne Finch and Jacobitism: Approaching the Wellesley College Manuscript

Anne Finch and Jacobitism: Approaching the Wellesley College Manuscript

Abstract

The essay seeks to provide an answer to the question of the long-standing editorial neglect of the poetry of Anne Finch. It contends that gender alone cannot account for this neglect, for the literary record suggests that the difficulties facing other women poets of the era were far from insurmountable. The solution, the essay suggests, lies in the long-standing commitment of Anne Finch and her husband to the exiled Stuart family and to the Jacobite cause. A number of poems in the Wellesley College manuscript reflect that commitment, and after the failure of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, it would have become increasingly unlikely that these poems could obtain a favorable hearing.
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