What did it mean to write as a woman in the Romantic era? How did women writers test and refashion the claims or the grand self, the central "I," we typically see in Romanticism? In this powerful and original study Meena Alexander examines the work of three women: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97) the radical feminist who typically thought of life as "warfare" and revolted against the social condition of women; Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) who lived a private life enclosed by the bonds of femininity, under the protection of her poet brother William and his family; Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the daughter that Wollstonecraft died giving birth to, mistress then wife of the poet Percy Shelley, and precocious author of "Frankenstein." Contents: Introduction: Mapping a Female Romanticism; Romantic Feminine; True Appearances; Of Mothers and Mamas; Writing in Fragments; Natural Enclosures; Unnatural Creation; Revising the Feminine; Versions of the SublimeàR
"...Alexander writes with great inwardness about Wordsworth's measured privacies, offering the best appreciation I've seen of her journals' capacity to express an exquisite joy that puts pity to shame."