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Anna Letitia Barbauld

Voice of the Enlightenment

William McCarthy

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Winner, 2011 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

2009 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

Winner, 2011 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

2009 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

Against the background of the American and French revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, and the struggle for religious equality in Great Britain, a brilliant, embattled woman strove to defend Enlightenment values to her nation. Poet, teacher, essayist, political writer, editor, and critic, Anna Letitia Barbauld was venerated by…

Winner, 2011 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

2009 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

Winner, 2011 Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

2009 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

Against the background of the American and French revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, and the struggle for religious equality in Great Britain, a brilliant, embattled woman strove to defend Enlightenment values to her nation. Poet, teacher, essayist, political writer, editor, and critic, Anna Letitia Barbauld was venerated by contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, among them the young Walter Scott, the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Boston Unitarians such as William Ellery Channing. After decades in the historical limbo into which almost all work by women writers of her era was swept, Barbauld's writings on citizenly ethics, identity politics, church-state relations, and empire are still deeply relevant today. Inquiring and witty as well as principled and passionate, Barbauld was a voice for the Enlightenment in an age of revolution and reaction.

Based on more than fifteen years of research in dozens of libraries and archives across five countries, this is the first full-length biography of one of the foremost women writers in Georgian England.

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Anna Letitia Barbauld

William McCarthy

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Reviews

Reviews

A superb biography that brings a radical literary figure back into the picture... a thrilling, brilliant book.

McCarthy establishes Barbauld as a figure of major significance. His magnificent biography will draw many others to her, and give her a new and deserved prominence in Enlightenment and Romantic studies.

A tour de force... Honest, wise, original.

The public intellectual, cultural pluralist, 'ecofeminist' and literary innovator we meet in this richly meditated study is a passionately political Anna Barbauld whose concerns speak directly to issues that vex us today.

Based on two decades of research and a real mastery of Romantic-era literary culture, the book provides authoritative information not only on Barbauld's life and works but also on Romantic-era politics, education, gender relations, dissenting religion, children's literature, radical politics, the booktrade, mental health, and so on... Marked by accessible prose and meticulous documentation, this will be the definitive biography of Barbauld for decades. Essential.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
792
ISBN
9781421418230
Illustration Description
64 halftones
Table of Contents

Preface 2015
Preface
March 1790
1. Ties of Kindred
2. Home at Kibworth
3. Soul-Building
4. Warrington
5. Miss Aikin
6. Land of Matrimony
7. Devotion
8. Enlightenment in a Suffolk Village
9. Mother Tongue
10. How

Preface 2015
Preface
March 1790
1. Ties of Kindred
2. Home at Kibworth
3. Soul-Building
4. Warrington
5. Miss Aikin
6. Land of Matrimony
7. Devotion
8. Enlightenment in a Suffolk Village
9. Mother Tongue
10. How They Lived
11. Pursuit of Happiness
12. Revolutions
13. Sins of the Nation
14. "Our Political Duties"
15. In Middle Age
16. Subjects Light and Grave
17. Racketing
18. The Highest Literary Character in England
19. Wounds
20. "Night, Gothic Night"
21. Legacy to Young Ladies
22. Good Morning
Afterword
Acknowledgments
Appendixes
A. The Aikin House in Kibworth
B. Rochemont Barbauld's Disorder
C. Iconography
D. Aikin-Barbauld Family Tree
Abbreviations Used in the Notes
Notes
Barbauld-Aikin Sources
General Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

William McCarthy

William McCarthy is professor emeritus of English at Iowa State University. He is the coeditor of The Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld and the author of Hester Thrale Piozzi: Portrait of a Literary Woman.
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