Finding A Voice Through Poetry: Women in Eighteenth Century England
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In order to study how women in eighteenth century England found agency through poetry, I look at the metaphors abstracted by women poets during this time period. Mainly, I seek out Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea. Finch’s diverse range of poems and styles of poetry make her the opportune subject for exploring eighteenth century England through poetry. Finch often wrote about her yearn for independence as a women. Finch is among other poets spotlighted in this essay, Charlotte Smith, Helen Maria Williams, and Jane Cave, who identify through their poetry and try to equalize women’s rights to that of men. In particular, Charlotte Smith uses the sonnet as her vessel for proclamation. I attempt to give a brief synopsis of women’s rights and education system during this time period to explain the outspoken complexion attributed to a woman writer. Subsequently, to understand the purpose of poetry in the advancement of women advocacy, it is important to delve into the topics women wrote about during this time period in England, and in particular, the use of nature and relationships with non-human characters.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2018
- F&M Theses Collection