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Faces of nature : personification in women's romantic-age poetry.

Curran, Emma (2017) Faces of nature : personification in women's romantic-age poetry. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This thesis seeks to re-evaluate the role of personification in Romantic-period poetics by examining how women writers used the device to address a reductive alignment of the female with the natural. Women poets employ personification to tell different narratives about human and non-human interrelationship. Personifications that feminise nature appear prolifically throughout Romantic poetry. Women writers take up the technique and its tropes in order to critique the cultural equation of women with nature and offer alternative presentations that recognise greater complexity both in their own experience and in the non-human environment. Traditional ideas of a feminised, other “Nature” come under reconsideration. Each chapter focuses on how women poets re-appraised and appropriated feminine personifications of nature in the context of aesthetic, scientific, philosophical and political discourses. I examine how six writers, Ann Radcliffe, Charlotte Smith, Anna Seward, Ann Batten Cristall, Helen Maria Williams and Anna Letitia Barbauld, tackle the gendered dynamics and cultural assumptions surrounding personification in each of these differing discourses. I investigate how they personify nature in innovative ways to present a richer understanding of their relationship to nature.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : English Literature
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Curran, Emma
Date : 31 July 2017
Funders : Unspecified
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Adeline
Depositing User : Emma Curran
Date Deposited : 11 Aug 2017 07:27
Last Modified : 11 Aug 2017 07:27

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