Nineteenth Century Women Posts of Victorian Era

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      One of the features of the nineteenth century is a development both in the quantity and in the quality of the verse written by women. Women during Victorian era certainly made a mark as writers of novels, yet in poetry their achievements call for special notice. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti were historically as well as intrinsically very important as poets of this period. Elizabeth Browning throughout her life sympathised with the dominant attitudes of the period. She was pious and idealistic and her love of poetry displays emotional individualism rained by middle-class ethics.

One of the features of the nineteenth century is a development both in the quantity and in the quality of the verse written by women.
Victorian Women poet

      A determined humanitarian, she called for rest: improvement in the lot of the underprivileged. She wrote Cowper's Grave and The Cry of the Children which express indignation and pity at the condition of children in factories. Her Sonnets from the Portugese (1850) records her rapturous love and grateful feelings for Robert Browning. As the intimate outpouring of a woman ardently in love, they probably will constitute her only sure claim to poetic fame. She expressed her exuberant love through the strict discipline of sonnet form. Aurora Leigh (1857) is a four-hundred-page novel in blank verse which was popular in the Victorian period.

      Christina Rossetti's verse proved the most popular Christian poetry of nineteenth century England. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, her brother influenced her to a great extent but she is in many respects his contrast. He is all sensual, she is all ascetic. Goblin Market and Other Poens (1862) has been called the first literary success of Pre-Raphaelitism. Many of her short lyrics (When I am Dead, After Death, Remember, Uphill) are among the best of the century. She wrote with a refreshing simplicity and sincerity. The Goblin Market has a mediaeval setting and evokes the supernatural through striking word pictures and incantatory quality of its verse. The Prince's Progress and Other Poems offers another Coleridgian lyrical ballad. The keynote of the devotional poems appears in Despised and Rejected. Christina obviously loved the world and bitterly condemned that love as sinful. A Pageant and Other Poems (1881) includes the sonnet sequence Monna Innominata (Nameless lady) : The sequence challenges Mrs. Browning, Sonnets from the Portugese but deals with a love affair ending unhappily. Amor Mundi (1865) recount her love of the world' and her insistence that such love leads to damnation.

      Emily Bronte who is best known for her prose fiction has also won distinction as a poet. The poems of Emily Bronte bear the stamp of genius. She has a strength, a reach of thought and an austerity of imagination which lift her very near the level of the greatest of her contemporaries. Such pieces as The Linnet in the Rocky Dells, Often Rebuked, Remembrance and The Old Stoic are great poetry.

      Alice Meynell was a Roman Catholic poet whose religious verse does not contain the ecstasy or awe of faith as much as it embodies the sense of everyday stability and refined consolation. Her A Song of Derivations is an example. Her genteel love poetry cherishes the security of a woman who knows that she is loved. Rossetti said that her most emotional poem, Renouncement was "one of the three finest sonnets ever written by women".

      It was a Scottish songstress, Joanna Baillie who towards the end of the eighteenth century took the lead among what we may call the professional poetesses. Sarah Flower Adams (1805-1848) will live as a writer of hymns. Fanny Kemble (1809-1893) wrote poems as well as plays and in successive volumes she poured out her soul in verse. Mrs. Dorothea Hemens has the unmistakable lyrical touch. The Graves of a Household is pathetic; in England's Dead and The Landing of the Pilgrime Fathers there mingles with the sentiment a note of heroism. Sara Coleridge (1802-1852), Helen Sheridan (1807-1857) and Caroline Sheridan (1808-1877) deserve mention as the female poets of the nineteenth century.

      The emergence of women into literature is practically an occurrence of the nineteenth century. Their poetry illustrates the transition. They point to the past and at the same time they show a remarkable sensitiveness to new influences.

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