16th century, Arts

A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

By Alice Theobald In executing a fictional will, sixteenth-century poet Isabella Whitney not only presented a defence of women's legal legitimacy but also externalised herself into the city, channelling her personal impulses into the physical structures and material goods of her London. However, rather than reducing herself to a commodity, she uses her distribution of… Continue reading A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

19th century, Arts

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

19th century, Arts

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

17th century, Arts

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

18th century, 20th century, Arts

‘Laetitia Pilkington’ by Virginia Woolf

By Virginia Woolf This article was first published Woolf's 'The Common Reader' in 1925. Let us bother the librarian once again. Let us ask him to reach down, dust, and hand over to us that little brown book over there, the Memoirs of Mrs. Pilkington, three volumes bound in one, printed by Peter Hoey in… Continue reading ‘Laetitia Pilkington’ by Virginia Woolf

Arts, Classical/ Ancient

“I say someone in another time will remember us”: The Legend of Sappho

By Rhiannon Garth Jones and Tom Dean. For over three thousand years, poetry has been a way to achieve immortality, both for the poet and the subject, making permanent the passing lives of humans. This fragment from Sappho expresses, whether intentionally or not, that belief, and proves it to be justified. Although almost nothing of… Continue reading “I say someone in another time will remember us”: The Legend of Sappho

20th century, Arts, Contemporary

Carol Ann Duffy

When considering influential women over the centuries, Carol Ann Duffy certainly holds her own. Born in 1955 to Frank Duffy and May Black, her dynamic, down-to-earth and personal writing has struck chords with a huge variety of people. Dealing with issues such as love, romance and a sense of rootlessness, Duffy's use of every-day language… Continue reading Carol Ann Duffy

20th century, Arts, Contemporary

Carol Ann Duffy: A chorus of female voices

By Charlotte Malcolm. Carol Ann Duffy’s recent appointment as Poet Laureate is a significant milestone for women in poetry. However, beyond this is the significance of Duffy’s work in giving women a voice. At the very heart of Duffy’s work lies equality; with careful consideration of social, cultural and historical factors, Duffy re-presents gender and… Continue reading Carol Ann Duffy: A chorus of female voices

19th century, Arts

Where Loss Resides

The Relationship Between Space and Loneliness in the Poetry of Christina Rossetti By Mona Sakr and Ali Nihat Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) is perhaps best known for her religious poetry. And yet, her work is often an exploration of the ultimate loneliness of human existence, mourning the absence of all others, including God, in the innermost… Continue reading Where Loss Resides

20th century, Arts

Birth and Descent: An Intimate Critique of Loy’s Poem ‘Der Blinde Junge’

By Mona Sakr A short grapple with Google demonstrates that, if nothing else, Mina Loy has earned herself a phenomenally large set of labels. She was (according to the internet) a modernist, a postmodernist, a futurist, a conceptualist and a surrealist all at the same time. It sounds impressive. Confusing also, for I cannot seem… Continue reading Birth and Descent: An Intimate Critique of Loy’s Poem ‘Der Blinde Junge’