New Essay Collection: Romantic-Era Irish Women Poets in English edited by Stephen Behrendt. Cork University Press

This book offers a representative sampling of the still mostly unknown poetry by Romantic-era Irish women. It represents most of the period’s active poets by multiple (rather than only a few) works, demonstrating the diversity and the subject range of these four dozen or so poets over the 50-year period.

Although several of these poets appear (briefly) in Andrew Carpenter’s Verse in English from Eighteenth-Century Ireland, no comparable or competing collection exists. Anthologies of “British” poetry by Romantic-era women devote scant space to these poets, with the notable exception of Mary Tighe, despite their contemporary activity (and activism). This anthology suggests ways to situate these poets and their work within the broader historical, cultural and literary contexts of Irish writing, Romanticism, and nationalism, in all of which areas matters of gender and women’s cultural status remain important today. The book is important to several areas of literary and cultural study:1. Irish literature – especially poetry; 2. Women’s writing; 3. Romanticism, Romantics studies, and Irish Romanticism; 4. Cultural history, including women’s and gender studies. This substantial repository of these authors’ works includes resources to enable students, scholars, cultural historians and “general readers” to locate and consult the original complete published collections from which these samples are taken.

Stephen Behrendt is George Holmes Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. An international authority on the literature and culture of the British Isles, including Ireland, during the Romantic period, he has published widely both on traditional canonical male authors like William Blake and Percy Shelley and on Romantic-era women writers, including British Women Poets and the Romantic Writing Community (2009). In addition to his many interdisciplinary scholarly books and articles on Romantic-era culture, he is also a widely published poet whose publications include four book-length collections.

Cork University Press April 2021| 9781782054474 | €39 £35| Hardback |  234 x 156mm | 614 pages  

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