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Women's Poetry and Religion in Victorian England
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511058080 | ISBN-10: 051105808X)

Victorian women poets lived in a time when religion was a vital aspect of their identities. Cynthia Scheinberg examines Anglo-Jewish (Grace Aguilar and Amy Levy) and Christian (Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti) women poets, and argues that there are important connections between the discourses of nineteenth-century poetry, gender and religious identity. Further, Scheinberg argues that Jewish and Christian women poets had a special interest in Jewish discourse; calling on images from Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures, their poetry created complex arguments about the relationships between Jewish and female artistic identity. She suggests that Jewish and Christian women used poetry as a site for creative and original theological interpretation, and that they entered into dialogue through their poetry about their own and each other's religious and artistic identities. This book's interdisciplinary methodology calls on poetics, religious studies, feminist literary criticism, and little read Anglo-Jewish primary sources.

• Discusses the importance of Jewish identity to Victorian poetry • Includes Jewish women poets not often studied within a larger study of Victorian Poetry • Offers new readings of two of the most famous Victorian women poets - Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti

Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. 'Sweet singers of Israel': gendered and Jewish otherness in Victorian poetics; 3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the 'Hebraic monster'; 4. Christina Rossetti and the Hebraic goblins of the Jewish scriptures; 5. 'Judaism rightly reverenced': Grace Aguilar's theological poetics; 6. Amy Levy and the accents of minor(ity) poetry; Notes.

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