Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives

William McCarthy and Olivia Murphy (Eds.)

404 pages
ISBN 9781611485493

Now in paperback $49.99

Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives is the first collection of essays on poet and public intellectual Anna Letitia Barbauld (1743 - 1825). By international scholars of eighteenth-century and Romantic British literature, these new essays survey Barbauld's writing from early to late: her versatility as a stylist, her poetry, her books for children, her political writing, her performance as editor and reviewer. They explore themes of sociability, materiality, and affect in Barbauld's writing, and trace her reception and influence. Rooted in enlightenment philosophy and ethics and dissenting religion, Barbauld's work exerted a huge impact on the generation of Wordsworth and Coleridge, and on education and ideas about childhood far into the nineteenth century. William McCarthy's introduction explores the importance of Barbauld's work today, and co-editor Olivia Murphy assesses the commentary on Barbauld that followed her rediscovery in the early 1990s. Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives is the indispensible introduction to Barbauld's work and current thinking about it.

"The contributors (among whom are many of the best critics of 18th- and early-19th-century literature, most notably Isobel Armstrong, Isobel Grundy, and Jocelyn Harris) write with a clarity and vigor that will appeal to nonspecialists and make this book genuinely useful for a broad range of readers."
-D. L. Patey, Smith College; CHOICE (July 2014)

"This stunning collection of new essays immediately (re)establishes Anna Letitia Barbauld as one of the most important and influential authors of the earlier Romantic era in Britain. It reminds today's readers that Barbauld was not only a writer of extraordinary intellectual range and capacity but also a masterful stylist in prose and poetry alike. Neglected and misrepresented for nearly two centuries of conventional literary-historical commentary, Barbauld emerges from this collection of compelling essays as a protean writer whose obligations to her readers, her literary contemporaries, and her fellow citizens were never far from view and who committed herself with remarkable self-effacement to the moral and civic duty that were crucial to her as a Dissenting writer, thinker, teacher, and loyal British citizen."
- Stephen C. Behrendt, University of Nebraska

About the editors:

William McCarthy is professor of English emeritus at Iowa State University.

Olivia Murphy is lecturer in English at Murdoch University.


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