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Finding Her Voice(s): The Development of a Working-Class Feminist Vision in Ethel Carnie's Poetry

Finding Her Voice(s): The Development of a Working-Class Feminist Vision in Ethel Carnie's Poetry PATRICIA E. JOHNSON he effort to recover and reevaluate British working-class women's writing is still in its early stages. One writer who certainly deserves such attention is Ethel Carnie (1886-1962), the first British working-class woman to sustain a long and varied publishing career. This essay will focus on Carnie's earliest publications, three volumes of poetry that appeared between 1907 and 1914, and interpret their themes and developments against the backgrounds of both nineteenth-century working-class poetry and early twentieth-century labor unrest and women's suffrage agitation.1 Carnie's poetic growth across the seven years between 1907 and 1914 is striking. Although she began writing as a factory girl supported by middle-class mentors, her first volume, Rhymes from the Factory (1907 and 1908), barely touches on the realities of workingclass life and is largely unmarked by class consciousness or feminist concerns, focusing more on imitations of Romantic odes to Nature and filled with impressive allusions to Greek and Roman classics. Gradually, however, Carnie's poetry begins to reflect both the context she writes in and the influence of earlier working-class poets. When her poetry reaches maturity in her 1914 volume, Voices of Womanhood, Carnie moves from ignoring her working-class background to embracing it http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

Finding Her Voice(s): The Development of a Working-Class Feminist Vision in Ethel Carnie's Poetry

Victorian Poetry , Volume 43 (3) – Sep 11, 2005

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
Publisher site
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Abstract

PATRICIA E. JOHNSON he effort to recover and reevaluate British working-class women's writing is still in its early stages. One writer who certainly deserves such attention is Ethel Carnie (1886-1962), the first British working-class woman to sustain a long and varied publishing career. This essay will focus on Carnie's earliest publications, three volumes of poetry that appeared between 1907 and 1914, and interpret their themes and developments against the backgrounds of both nineteenth-century working-class poetry and early twentieth-century labor unrest and women's suffrage agitation.1 Carnie's poetic growth across the seven years between 1907 and 1914 is striking. Although she began writing as a factory girl supported by middle-class mentors, her first volume, Rhymes from the Factory (1907 and 1908), barely touches on the realities of workingclass life and is largely unmarked by class consciousness or feminist concerns, focusing more on imitations of Romantic odes to Nature and filled with impressive allusions to Greek and Roman classics. Gradually, however, Carnie's poetry begins to reflect both the context she writes in and the influence of earlier working-class poets. When her poetry reaches maturity in her 1914 volume, Voices of Womanhood, Carnie moves from ignoring her working-class background to embracing it

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Sep 11, 2005

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