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An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

By Alice Theobald Termed by Brigitte Hamann ‘a woman who refused to behave according to her rank’, Empress Sisi’s somewhat playful audacity was always at odds with the official role of Empress of Austria she assumed at the tender age of sixteen. Her childhood spent at Possenhofen Castle fostered an unrestrained environment with few rules … Continue reading

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Registering Desire: Spousal and Appetitive Imagery in the Religious and Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

By Alice Theobald In a period noted for its ostensible conservatism and censorship of linguistic taboos, Christina Rossetti is often taken as paradigmatic of this aversion towards the open expression of sensuality and female sensation. However, her religious poetry in fact displays a marked tendency towards images of physical desire, appropriating the language of erotic … Continue reading

Issue Eleven

Friendship in Emblem: Negotiating Gender and Sexuality in the Poetry of Katherine Philips

By Mimi Goodall It is fascinating to analyse the ways in which female writers, working within a predominantly male tradition, negotiate their gender, femininity and sexuality in their writing. In women’s writing, the “female” shifts from existing as written object to active creator of the text. As they subvert or adapt traditional representations of women … Continue reading