Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


About this book

​This acclaimed book recovers and explores an important tradition of 19th-century women’s poetry - from Felicia Hemans to Charlotte Mew. Angela Leighton not only discusses the work of many neglected poets (including Augusta Webster and ‘Michael Field’), she also charts the development of women’s poetry form the sentimentalism of Hemans and L.E.L. (Letitia Elizabeth Landon)) to the various strategies of self-displacement employed by the best of the Victorians, especially Elizabeth Browning and Christina Rossetti.

The work combines biographical material with theoretical readings of the poems, and offers new reinterpretations of some original and intriguing literature. Much of this had been by-passed or forgotten before Angela Leighton’s work.

It is impressive in scope, is highly original in its aims, and is established as the chief critical work in its field.

​About the author

​Angela Leighton is Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.  She was previously Professor of English at the University of Hull.  She has worked mainly on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, on women's writing, on aestheticism and the aesthetic, and on poetry generally. She has published many articles and various critical books, as well as three volumes of poetry.


​“This is a thoughtful, often brilliant book. It is no less than the rediscovery and re-reading of forgotten women poets which involves the substantial critical and conceptual reappraisal both of our critical practice and of women’s writing in the nineteenth century.” – Isobel Armstrong.

'It is rare to read a work which tells us so much not only from 
without but also from within each writer. The analyses in the book are both 
highly informative and unusually close-grained. It is itself pleasurable to 
read, and the writer shows an almost Ruskinian skill in evoking another art 
object. Leighton's generous work above all produces a scintillating and 
unsentimental account of difficulty, and of poems made across the grain.'

- Professor Gillian Beer, Times Literary Supplement.

Available  June 2019

Victorian Women Poets: Writing Against The Heart

Second edition with new  Introduction.

​Angela Leighton

ISBN 9781911454311  Paperback  £39.99   Order
ISBN 9781911454328  Hardback   £50.00    Order

350 pp.

Studies in Literature and Culture series no. 2