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Apr 11, 2011

Women Writers in Victorian Age

The Victorian age produced quite a large number of woman writers of verse. The greatest of these were Mrs. Elizabeth Barret Browning and Christina Rossetti. Mrs. Browning was more popular than her husband, Robert Browning during her life time. Their love story is now a classic romance in real life. Like browning she produced her last works “Sonnet from the Portuguese (1850) under the influence of love. The sonnets 44 in number, reflects the whole course of love and courtship. Before her marriage she had attain fame by a volume of short lyrics including Cowper’s Grave and Cry of Children. Aurora Leigh is her most important poem of later years. Almost epical in length it deals with social problems of the age, especially those of Victorian women. She belongs to romantic tradition and is essentially lyrical.

Christina Rossetti was a great poet as her brother D.G. Rossetti. She was a religious woman and devoted to works of charity. She was a skilled sonnet writer, and wrote a sonnet sequence called Monna Innominata. The sonnet autobiographical and show deep sense of loss resulting from her attachments. Goblin Market is a fantastic tale with allegorical fairy tale. Her poetry possesses most of the characteristics of the Pre-Raphaelites poets, but unlike other poets she was a devout Christian. Her simplicity, spontaneity, sincerity and above all her bird-like singing give her poems grace and charm of her own.


George Eliot wrote some verse but it is slight and unimportant. Emile Bronte show in her verse, not a little of fire and intensity which characterizes her novel Wuthering Heights. Procter who was a friend of Dickens wrote grave poems and hymns. Some of her hymns have been adopted for common use. Jean Jnglow who is today remembered by one poem Hightide on the “Cost of Lincoshire” attained fame with her religious poetry which is tender, graceful and moving. Augusta Webster was a noted Greek translator. Her poetry shows the influence of Browning. Alice Meynell’s poems are remarkable for their simplicity and restraint. Mary Coleridge, the great grand nice of Coleridge wrote pretty lyrics some of which have melancholy charms. 

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