Jennifer Keith University of North Carolina at Greensboro Co-winner of the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize, Paula Backscheider's Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and Their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre (Johns Hopkins, 2005) has given scholars and students a much-needed survey of eighteenth-century poetry by women. In the last two decades we have seen a gradual increase in studies of these poets, including work by Donna Landry, Claudia Thomas, Moira Ferguson, Carol Barash, Ann Messenger, and Susanne Kord.1 Other studies of Restoration and eighteenth-century poetry have integrated women's writing into their scholarship, as in the work of William Christmas, David Fairer, and Christine Gerrard.2 These scholars have used valuable lenses to examine the contributions of women's poetry, but much remains to be understood of their work and its relations to other women writers and to their male contemporaries. Backscheider's detailed account of women poets from the beginning to the end of the eighteenth century offers the most comprehensive survey yet of eighteenth-century women's poetry. Although the dearth of modern critical texts of eighteenthcentury women's poetry would have deterred most critics from attempting a project of this scale, Backscheider has fully met the challenge and performed an extraordinary service to scholars
The Eighteenth Century – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Nov 26, 2008
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