Little songs: women, silence, and the nineteenth-century sonnet
In Little Songs: Women, Silence, and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, Amy Christine Billone analyzes the bond between lyric poetry and silence in women’s sonnets ranging from the late eighteenth-century works of Charlotte Smith, Helen Maria Williams, and Anna Maria Smallpiece to Victorian texts by Elizabeth Barrett, Christina Rossetti, Isabella Southern, and other, lesser-known female poets. Although scholars acknowledge that women initiated the sonnet revival in England, Little Songs is the only major study of nineteenth-century female sonneteers. Billone argues not that women’s sonnets overcame silence in favor of lyrical speech during the nineteenth-century sonnet revival, but rather that women simultaneously posited both muteness and volubility through style and theme. In opposition to criticism that stresses a modern shift from compensatory to non-consolatory poems of mourning, Billone demonstrates how women invented contemporary elegiac poetics a century in advance. Adding to critical interest in the alliance between silence and literature, this book offers a complex study of the overwhelming impact that silence makes, not only on British women’s poetry, but also on the development of modern poetry and intellectual inquiry. Ultimately, Little Songs illustrates how the turn away from the kind of silence that preoccupied nineteenth-century women poets introduced the start of twentieth-century thought.
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Elizabeth Barretts Sonnet Turn
Christina Rossetti and the Music of Silence
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addressee amatory Anna Maria Smallpiece appear argues autobiographical Barrett Browning's Barrett's sonnet begins beloved biographical Bowles Bowles's century Charlotte Smith Christina Rossetti critics critique Dante Gabriel dead death Delmont Dora Greenwell double echoes edited Elegiac Sonnets Elizabeth Barrett Browning femininity feminized flowers gender Glenmorris Gray's Greenwell Greenwell's grieving hand Haydon heart Helen Maria Williams hopeless grief Isabella Southern italics language Leighton literary Little Songs lyric male Mary Russell Mitford masculine Michael Field Mitford Monna Innominata mourning nineteenth nineteenth-century women octave Past and Future personifications Petrarch Phelan poem's poems poetic Portuguese quatrain readers references rhyme scheme Robert Browning role Romantic Rossetti's sonnets secret seems sestet silence sing Smallpiece's Smith's sonnets Sonnet 27 Sonnet 44 Sonnet 85 Sonnet 9 sonnet form sorrow Southern's sonnet speak speaker speech sublime tears tercet thee thou tion University Press Victorian voice weep woman women poets women's sonnets words Wordsworth's writing