The poetics of sisterly celebrity: Sarah Hale, British women poets and the gift of American fame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This essay explores the celebrity of British women poets in early nineteenth-century America, when print culture on both sides of the Atlantic encouraged and catered for the desire of readers for ever-closer relationships with poets by commercially circulating and disseminating their poems, biographical information and visual representations. It focuses on Sarah Josepha Hale’s participation and intervention in these cultural mechanisms by examining her gift book The Ladies’ Wreath: A Selection from the Female Poetic Writers of England and America (1837) and, in particular, its expanded second edition (1839). Reinforcing while also complicating celebrations of women poets in this period as figures associated with gentility, domesticity, sentiment and ideals of femininity, Hale draws on the discourse of fame and celebrity to underline women poets’ achievements and professionalization and the diversity, variety and intellectuality of their poems, and to position British and American women poets and readers within a transatlantic poetic sisterhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalComparative American Studies
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date9 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • women’s poetry
  • poetess
  • transatlantic
  • Felicia Hemans
  • Sarah Josepha Hale
  • gift books
  • celebrity

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The poetics of sisterly celebrity: Sarah Hale, British women poets and the gift of American fame'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this