Collecting Women

Chantel M. Lavoie

Jacket Illustration: Shutterstock Images

Poetry and Lives, 1700-1780

215 pages
ISBN 1611483413
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture

This book addresses the place of women writers in anthologies and other literary collections in eighteenth-century England. It explores and contextualizes the ways in which two different kinds of printed material--poetic miscellanies and biographical collections--complemented one another in defining expectations about the woman writer. Far more than the single-authored text, it was the collection in one form or another that invested poems and their authors with authority. By attending to this fascinating cultural context, Chantel Lavoie explores how women poets were placed posthumously in the world of eighteenth-century English letters. Investigating the lives and works of four well-known poets--Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, Anne Finch, and Elizabeth Rowe--Lavoie illuminates the ways in which celebrated women were collected alongside their poetry, the effect of collocation on individual reputations, and the intersection between bibliography and biography as female poets themselves became curiosities. In so doing, Collecting Women contributes to the understanding of the intersection of cultural history, canon formation, and literary collecting in eighteenth-century England.


"This book advances our knowledge...and provides a model methodology"
--Devoney Looser, SEL 51, 3: 693-741

"At its best, the book is a series of ingenious reflections on poems as collectible things, conveying legitimate concern about selection, representation, and categorization."--John Morillo,The Scriblerian And the Kit-Cats, Spr/Aut 2012.

About the author:

Chantel M. Lavoie lectures on eighteenth-century literature at the University of Toronto. Her interest in women writers of the eighteenth century began with an exploration of Jonathan Swift's literary female friends in Dublin, and from there developed into a fascination with the role early miscellanies played in literary reputations. She has published on early women writers, poetic collections, Canadian verse, and children's literature.


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