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"Michael Field" was the literary pseudonym of two women, Katharine Bradley (1846-1914) and her niece Edith Cooper (1862-1913). The women were poets, playwrights, diarist, and lovers who lived and wrote together during the final decades of the nineteenth century up to World War I. Their arresting poetry has recently gained them a place in the canon, and their extensive engagement with other writers puts them at the centre of fin de siècle literary culture.
This Broadview Edition offers selections from all published books of poetry by Michael Field, and a substantial section of transcriptions from largely unpublished manuscript letters and diaries that gives insight into the extraordinary life and work of the authors. A critical introduction, bibliography, and selection of contemporary reviews are also included.
"This selection from the extensive oeuvre of the two women, aunt and niece, who called themselves 'Michael Field,' is a revelation. The editors have given us the most generous selection of the poems to date. The cold fire of Michael Field's lyricism, its compact, enigmatic language, is fully contextualized in the poet's debt to Nietzsche, to late century aestheticism, Hellenism, and feminism. The joint diary and the letters of this astonishing poet, with their intellectual astringency, wit, and frankly sensuous homoeroticism, and their acquaintance with major figures of aesthetic culture Pater, Vernon Lee, Browning, and the Berensons enable us to read the late nineteenth-century's modernism in a wholly new way." - Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck College, University of London
"The two women who loved and wrote as 'Michael Field' feature in recent histories of Victorian sexuality, but this collection convincingly demonstrates their importance in the history of British poetry. A balanced and informative introduction and generous selections highlight the breadth of elements their lyrics synthesized --ancient Greek and Persian, Elizabethan, German, French, Roman Catholic, and even painterly. Extracts from Bradley and Cooper's journals and correspondence place them amidst aesthetes and critics from Ruskin and Wilde to Berenson, although contemporary reviews show them denied proper recognition. This anthology surveys a unique literary partnership that both reflected and influenced the main artistic currents of turn-of-the-century Britain." - Margaret Stetz, University of Delaware
"Perhaps the most important of the year's publications, in terms of its effect on the future direction of Victorian poetry studies, was Michael Field, the Poet: Published and Manuscript Materials, edited by Ana Parejo Vadillo and Marion Thain. Bringing together a wide range of writings by the two women who worked under the name 'Michael Field', this single-volume edition is a product of the growing scholarly interest in this important fin-de-sie`cle writer, and it will surely be a spur to further work on the poet." - review in The Nineteenth Century: The Victorian Period
Marion Thain is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham, UK. Ana Parejo Vadillo is Lecturer in English at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.
Table of Contents: [Back to Top]
List of Illustrations
Michael Field: A Brief Chronology
Michael Field's Circle: A Key to Names
- From Long Ago (1889)
- From Sight and Song (1892)
- From Underneath the Bough (1893)
- From Wild Honey from Various Thyme (1908)
- From Poems of Adoration (1912)
- From Mystic Trees (1913)
- From Whym Chow: Flame of Love (1914)
- From Dedicated: an Early Work by Michael Field (1914)
- From The Wattlefold: Unpublished Poems by Michael Field (1930)
- Review of Long Ago by John M. Gray; The Academy (8 June 1889).
- Review of Sight and Song by W.B. Yeats; The Bookman (July 1892).
- "Women and Men: Women Laureates," by T.W.H. [T.W. Higginson]; Harpers Bazaar (17 June 1893).
- Review of Underneath the Bough; The Athenaeum (9 September 1893).
- Review of Wild Honey [Anon]; The Academy (8 February 1908).
Academics teaching relevant courses may request examination copies of titles to consider for text adoption. We ask that you limit your examination copy requests to three or fewer at a time; if you are not confident that you will adopt the book, please help us keep costs down by ordering it instead. If in the future you do decide to assign as a course text a book you have previously ordered personally, Broadview Press will be happy to refund your money.
Michael Field: The Poet
2009 • 384pp • Paperback • 9781551116754 / 1551116758