The Poetry of Anne Finch: An Essay in Interpretation
"This book is a full-scale assessment of the critical significance, place in English literature, and possible interest for modern readers of the poems of Anne Finch, the Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720). Charles H. Hinnant's study functions, in part, as a survey, covering a wide range of poems, many of which have never before been mentioned in the commentary on Anne Finch's verse. The underlying premise is that in the absence of a fully developed critical tradition, any interpretative study of her poetry must of necessity be tentative and preliminary. It must be a trial or essay (in the traditional sense of the meaning of that term)." "In the past, Finch's distinctive contribution to English literature has been obscured by her reluctance - both as a woman and as a member of a privileged class - to publish and by the extremely limited focus of critics who have examined her poetry. William Wordsworth and later nineteenth-century critics confined their attention to what they saw as an anticipation of the nature poetry of their own age. Reuben Brower reversed this judgment in the 1940s, arguing that insofar as Finch was a good poet, it was because her best poems were part of an attenuated tradition of early seventeenth-century poetry. Recent critics have sought to broaden the focus of interest, insisting that Finch should be seen as an Augustan poet, distinguished from most of her contemporaries by the perspective that she brings as a woman to her craft. The difficulty inherent in all three views, Hinnant argues, derives from a limited conception of periodization, in which poems are evaluated according to whether they escape from or conform to the conventions of an age. To offer an account that will assist the reader in defining Finch's relation to her contemporaries more precisely, Hinnant adopts the term Tory feminist, which recent critics have employed to describe the tradition to which many eighteenth-century women writers belonged. The significance of Finch's cultural allegiances as Tory and Jacobite can be seen in the major shifts that occurred in her poetry in the last decade of the seventeenth century. At the same time her stance as a feminist led her not only to articulate issues in terms of gender but also to define her poetry in opposition to the dominant literary form of the age, satire."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Seite 27 - Seasons" does not contain a single new image of external nature; and scarcely presents a familiar one from which it can be .inferred that the eye of the Poet had been steadily fixed upon his object, much less that his feelings had urged him to work upon it in the spirit of genuine imagination.
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