By Daniel P. Watkins
During this first severe learn of Anna Letitia Barbauld’s significant paintings, Daniel P. Watkins unearths the singular objective of Barbauld’s visionary poems: to recreate the area in response to the values of liberty and justice. Watkins examines in shut element either the shape and content material of Barbauld’s Poems, initially released in 1773 and revised and reissued in 1792. in addition to cautious readings of the poems that situate the works of their broader political, old, and philosophical contexts, Watkins explores the relevance of the introductory epigraphs and the significance of the poems’ placement during the quantity. Centering his examine on Barbauld’s attempt to increase a visionary poetic stance, Watkins argues that the planned association of the poems creates a coherent portrayal of Barbauld’s poetic, political, and social imaginative and prescient, a far-sighted sagacity born of her deep trust that the foundations of affection, sympathy, liberty, and pacifism are priceless for a safe and significant human truth. In tracing the contours of this attempt, Watkins examines, particularly, the strain in Barbauld’s poetry among her wish to interact at once with the political realities of the realm and her both powerful eager for a pastoral international of peace and prosperity. students of British literature and ladies writers will welcome this significant examine of 1 of the eighteenth century’s ideal writers.
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Additional info for Anna Letitia Barbauld and Eighteenth-Century Visionary Poetics
This none can ravish from me; this is life. (28) If Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost provides a model for Hands’s Jonadab, especially in his belief that self-interest and manipulative power are the governing principles of the mind (recall, for instance, Satan’s famous comment that “the mind is its own place, and in it self / Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n” ), in her characterization of Tamar, Hands revises this satanic view in such a way as to make the mind a place of hope and goodness that is capable of withstanding even the worst forms of human tragedy.
Indeed, when Amnon is read within the larger context of the volume, it becomes clear that even as Introduction 13 Hands engages with the Bible and Milton for corrective purposes, she is only passing through biblical and Miltonic territory on her way to a different sort of visionary poetics. Immediately on completing Amnon, for instance, she turns away from her Miltonic visionary style, and away from biblical subject matter, to present two poems—“On the Supposition of an Advertisement in a Morning Paper, of the Publication of a Volume of Poems by a Servant Maid” and “On the Supposition of the Book Having Been Published and Read”—that might more properly belong to what Wittreich calls the “line of wit” (xiv).
Daniel E. White’s excellent Early Romanticism and Religious Dissent includes a detailed consideration of Barbauld’s place among the British Dissenting community in the late eighteenth century. Considering, among other things, Barbauld’s literary collaborations with her brother and with fellow Dissenters at Warrington Academy, White argues convincingly that Barbauld 30 Anna Letitia Barbauld and Eighteenth-Century Visionary Poetics should be viewed and studied within the context of a Dissenting public sphere.