The poet and the woman : a study of Felicia Hemans's letters

Abstract : A study relying on the books of Henry Chorley, Harriet Hughes and Susan Wolfson which analyzes 212 letters written by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) between 1808 and 1835. This dissertation uses the poet's letters not as an addition to her poetic works but on their own and seeks to access a different point of view than the one found in her poems. This study analyzes the contextual factors of the letters, such as their place and date of writing or also the people they were sent to, with the desire to learn more about the poet and the interest in studying her letters. In the second part of the study, the relationship between Felicia Hemans and the epistolary genre is put forward as well as the problem of authenticity inherent to the genre itself. Felicia Hemans's style as well as the purpose of her letters especially the literary and artistic criticism which can be found in her letters is central to this part. Lastly, the focus is made on what can we learn about Felicia Hemans from these letters notably on her identity as a woman and a poet, a contradictory role. The mediation of this rôle is central to this study which tries to understand to what extent did she accepted or resisted the restrictions brought by this role. The public/private element which is found in the study of letters is also put into light when regarding the life of Felicia Hemans. Finally, this study is foremost a first step in the study of Felicia Hemans's epistolary works which remain little known in France.
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Master Thesis
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Marie-Joshua Huet. The poet and the woman : a study of Felicia Hemans's letters. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2017. ⟨dumas-02110525⟩

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