CFP: Victorian Women Poets and the Problem of Marriage (7/1/06; collection)

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Contributions are invited for a proposed collection of essays on Victorian women poets and marriage with
the working title Victorian Women Poets and the Problem of Marriage. Victorian female poets�
perspectives on the institution of marriage and on the problem of balancing the demands of marriage and
the artist�s life are important but have not been adequately explored. Of course, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning certainly raises precisely these issues in Aurora Leigh, but many other female poets of the
nineteenth century concerned themselves with these same issues and resolved them in different ways,
sometimes choosing not to marry (Christina Rossetti and Adelaide Proctor), sometimes marrying with
disastrous results (Caroline Norton and Fanny Kemble), and sometimes more or less successfully
balancing the conflicting demands (Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Alice Meynell). Essays might address,
for example, how female poets viewed the role of women within the institution of marriage or the role of
wives and mothers within the legal and social context of nineteenth-century England, how female poets�
views of the vocation of poet and the purposes of poetry were shaped by their experience as women, or
how these poets explored efforts to balance the role of poet with that of wife and mother.
Essay submissions should be 3000-5000 words and follow MLA format.
Kindly send proposals or abstracts (maximum 500 words), preferably as an email attachment in Word, to
the editors, Amy Watkin ( and Dianna Vitanza ( by July 1,

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Received on Tue Apr 25 2006 - 10:19:06 EDT