Only for the Eye of a Friend: The Poems of Annis Boudinot Stockton
Known among the Middle Atlantic intelligentsia and literati as a witty and versatile writer, considered by George Washington and the Chevalier de La Luzerne a gracious and elegant host, Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736-1801) wrote over a hundred poems on the most important political and social issues of her day. "Only for the Eye of a Friend" was the name Stockton gave a manuscript book of poems that surfaced in 1985 and at once tripled the number of her known works. Before the discovery of this copybook, Stockton was known to have written about 40 poems. Now, Carla Mulford has brought together over 125 of Stockton's works, including her published pieces and the newly found cache of poems in manuscript, to form this unprecedented collection. Mulford includes an introduction treating Stockton's life, with particular attention to the ways in which her poetry reveals both aspects of eighteenth-century culture and the expectations placed upon women of the Anglo-American elite. Only for the Eye of a Friend brings back into public view the works of a poet whose published works and manuscripts earned her, in her day, a wide audience among colonists and international readers alike. The quality and quantity of Stockton's literary output makes her an apt counterpart to her seventeenth-century predecessor Anne Bradstreet and the nineteenth-century poet Emily Dickinson.
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