The Poetical Works of Mrs Henman.

By Mrs Henman

Printed: Circa1890

Publisher: Frererick Warne & Co. London

Dimensions 14 × 19 × 4 cm
Language

Language: English

Size (cminches): 14 x 19 x 4

£44.00
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Description

Red cloth binding with gilt and black title and decoration on the spine and front board.

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This book would justify a price tag of £90 had its binding been in better order.

Felicia Dorothea Hemans (25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835) was an English poet (who identified as Welsh by adoption). Two of her opening lines, “The boy stood on the burning deck” and “The stately homes of England”, have acquired classic status.

                                                    

Hemans’s works appeared in nineteen individual books during her lifetime. After her death in 1835, they were republished widely, usually as collections of individual lyrics and not the longer, annotated works and integrated series that made up her books. For surviving female poets, such as Caroline Norton and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Lydia Sigourney and Frances Harper, the French Amable Tastu and German Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, she was a valued model. To many readers she offered a woman’s voice confiding a woman’s trials; to others, a lyricism consonant with Victorian sentimentality. Among the works, she valued most were the unfinished “Superstition and Revelation” and the pamphlet “The Sceptic,” which sought an Anglicanism more attuned to world religions and women’s experiences. In her most successful book, Records of Woman (1828), she chronicles the lives of women, both famous and anonymous.

Hemans’ poem “The Homes of England” (1827) is the origin of the phrase “stately home”, referring to an English country house.

Despite her illustrious admirers her stature as a serious poet gradually declined, partly due to her success in the literary marketplace. Her poetry was considered morally exemplary, and was often assigned to schoolchildren; as a result, Hemans came to be seen as more a poet for children rather than on the basis of her entire body of work. Schoolchildren in the U.S. were still being taught “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England” in the middle of the 20th century. But by the 21st century, “The Stately Homes of England” refers to Noël Coward’s parody, not to the once-famous poem it parodied.

However, her critical reputation has been re-examined in recent years. Her work has resumed a role in standard anthologies and in classrooms and seminars and literary studies, especially in the US. Other anthologised poems include “The Image in Lava,” “Evening Prayer at a Girls’ School,” “I Dream of All Things Free”, “Night-Blowing Flowers”, “Properzia Rossi”, “A Spirit’s Return”, “The Bride of the Greek Isle”, “The Wife of Asdrubal”, “The Widow of Crescentius”, “The Last Song of Sappho”, “Corinne at the Capitol” and “The Coronation Of Inez De Castro”

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