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The Collected Works of Ann Hawkshaw

Ann Hawkshaw, Edited by Debbie Bark

The Collected Works of Ann Hawkshaw

An authoritative collection of Ann Hawkshaw’s four volumes of poetry, accompanied by a biographical and critical introduction that places the poet and her work in their cultural and literary context.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783080212
April 2014 | 508 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 28+ b+w illustrations
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

‘A reflective, witty and erudite writer, Ann Hawkshaw merits recognition for her wide-ranging and philosophical poetry and children’s verse. After more than a century of unmerited neglect, Bark’s comprehensive biographical and critical introduction and notes make Hawkshaw’s life and works fully accessible for modern readers.’ —Professor Florence Boos, University of Iowa

‘This superb edition brings Hawkshaw’s unique gifts into visibility. Exhaustive annotation illuminates her remarkable poems, and detailed archival work reveals for the first time Hawkshaw’s life of upward mobility in a vigorous dissenting culture.’ —Professor Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck, University of London

‘The Collected Works of Ann Hawkshaw’ brings together Hawkshaw’s four volumes of poetry and republishes them together for the first time. Some two hundred years after her birth into a large family of Dissenters in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the publication of ‘The Collected Works’ reflects the growing interest in Hawkshaw’s poetry and life. As the span of three decades between the first and last examples of Hawkshaw’s writing suggests, her poetry offers an exceptional insight into the changing political and religious landscape of the mid-nineteenth century. The themes of death, religion, science, history and nation that run through Hawkshaw’s poetry demonstrate her capacity for extended critical thought, as she engages with subjects at the heart of nineteenth-century cultural and religious debates whilst challenging the work of established scholars and writers.

Writing in a strong, independent and perceptive voice, Hawkshaw makes a valuable contribution to the Manchester poetic revival of 1830s and 1840s, and to political debates over abolitionism and the Poor Law Amendment. Her defence of natural theology in light of scientific progress and her skilful use of the sonnet sequence to engage with nineteenth-century historiographies of the Anglo-Saxon period are also notable. Elsewhere, Hawkshaw draws on her experience as a mother to write tender and poignant elegies on childhood death, addressing several poems to her own children and grandchild.

As well as providing a biography of Hawkshaw, who was married to the leading Victorian engineer Sir John Hawkshaw and related by marriage to the Darwin-Wedgwood family, the editor’s introduction and notes draw attention to several of Hawkshaw’s most significant poems and their critical reception, making connections between her poetry and the work of Felicia Hemans, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Wordsworth, Gaskell and Pater.

Readership: This book will be of interest to scholars researching in such fields as: women’s poetry; the recovery of nineteenth-century women writers; the relationship of religion and science to literature; anti-slavery narratives and social protest poetry; nineteenth-century Anglo-Saxonism and uses of history; Victorian childhoods and children’s literature.

Author Information

Ann Hawkshaw (1812–1885) was born into a large family of dissenters in rural Yorkshire and, by the time of her death, she was a titled, affluent poet moving amidst the most influential circles of the age.

Debbie Bark lectures on nineteenth-century studies in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. She has published a number of articles on Ann Hawkshaw which focus on situating the poet’s life and work in their literary and cultural context.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements; Biographical Introduction; 1842: ‘Dionysius the Areopagite’ with other poems; 1843: Life’s Dull Reality; 1847: Poems for My Children; 1854: Sonnets on Anglo-Saxon History; 1871: Cecil’s Own Book; Appendix A; Appendix B; Bibliography; Index of Titles; Index of First Lines

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