This new title outlines the lives and works of three popular and influential women poets of the nineteenth century: Felicia Hemans, Dora Greenwell and Adelaide Anne Procter. All three sought to forge a Christian and emotive poetics in order to educate and sensitise their readership, offering a gentle and benevolent reading experience grounded in interpersonal feeling and religious love. This study investigates both the radical potential and possible limits of such a project, one inflected by the poets' relationships to feeling and religion, whether dissenting, Anglican, Methodist, Evangelical or Roman Catholic. The study also seeks to situate the poets in their historical and aesthetic moment, examining their diverse interest in figures such as Schiller, Coleridge, Germaine de Stael and Dickens. Underlying all three poets' work, however, is the profound influence of Wordsworth, figured by them as a literary as well as spiritual guide anchoring their explorations of religion, feeling and poetry.
Emma Mason is Lecturer in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Poetry, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick. She was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Corpus Christi, Oxford and has published on the relationship between poetry, religion and feeling in the long nineteenth-century. She is writing (with Mark Knight) Nineteenth-Century Religion and Literature: An Introduction.