“Thou with earth’s music answerest to the sky”: Felicia Hemans, Mary Ann Browne, and the myth of poetic sisterhood

Virginia Blain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Felicia Hemans (nee Browne) and her near contemporary, Mary Anne Browne, have often been (erroneously) taken for sisters, although in fact they never met. This paper cites evidence to correct this misapprehension, which has proved strangely tenacious; but its main purpose is to point to the elusive dynamic of similitude and contrast underlying nineteenth‐century models of sisterhood, suggesting that this cultural expectation may have been projected onto perceptions of the characteristic tenor of each of the two women's poetic productions. It argues that the (mis)reading of their relationship as one of sisterhood may have been driven by more than simple biographical error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's Writing
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995

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