Anna Wickham: A Poet's Daring Life

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 373 pages
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Like the lives of fellow poets Edna St. Vincent Millay and Sylvia Plath, the life of Anna Wickham (1883-1947) was turbulent, trailblazing, and ultimately tragic. This biography is the first ever to illuminate the British poet's life, from her strange and violent birth through her suicide.
Anna fell in love and married handsome solicitor Patrick Hepburn in 1906. They started a family, but Anna began writing poetry, an endeavor that Patrick found irrelevant - and threatening. Eventually, he had Anna forcibly committed to a mental hospital. Ironically, it was there that Anna, "stimulated by her incarceration," wrote more than eighty poems (she went on to write over 1,400). Upon her release, publisher Harold Monro befriended Anna and published her poetry. Her verse led the way for the Early Modernist poetry movement.
Anna and Patrick separated in 1926. Soon afterward, she traveled to Paris's Left Bank, where she met her muse and lifelong - albeit unrequited - love: Natalie Barney, the lesbian American millionairess.
Based on exclusive interviews with Anna's family and newly discovered correspondence, and including over a dozen of her most daring poems, this stunning book captures Anna Wickham in full, while simultaneously introducing this poet to a new generation of readers.
 

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Anna Wickham : a poet's daring life

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Born Edith Alice Mary Harper, Anna Wickham (1883-1947) was a woman much beyond the common pattern. An English girl raised in Australia, she would return home to become a wife, mother, and acclaimed ... Read full review

Contents

Wimbledon and Then the Sea 18831890
1
I had traveled in my youth past saturation point Queensland 18901896
15
Life in Sydney 18971904
29
Singing London and Paris 19041906
42
Not a Single Crumpled Rose Leaf
58
An Admirable Mother 19071909
65
I tried to build perfection with my hands 19101912
75
May 1913
86
Married Life 19281929
206
How lovely you were In your embrace of stars
212
Reconfiguration La Tour Bourgeoise 19301934
216
Writing Her Life 19341939
231
The Boys and the War 19391942
253
Staying at Home 19431945
260
The astringency of wisdom 19461947
269
Epilogue
274

I Got My Courage 1913
91
A Changed Anna 19131914
98
Anna Wickham and Harold Monro 1913 and beyond
111
Anna Wickham and D H Lawrence 1915
119
The Hepburn Family during the War 1914 and beyond
129
O Give Me Back 19191921
146
Paris and Return 19221926
159
I have a skin for what is false in you
173
A Selection of Poems
275
Abbreviations
291
Notes
293
Selected Bibliography on Anna Wickham 18831947
339
Index
347
About the Author
373
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Jennifer Vaughan Jones (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994) is a professor whose seminal work, The Poetry and Place of Anna Wickham 1910-30, provides the first complete bibliography of Anna Wickham's work and contribution to literary modernism. This is her first book.

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