‘At Once Above—Beneath Her Sex’: The Heroine in Male-authored Regency Verse Romance

Caroline Franklin

in Byron's Heroines

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780198112303
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670763 | DOI:
‘At Once Above—Beneath Her Sex’: The Heroine in Male-authored Regency Verse Romance

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Male-authored Regency verse romances, published in the first fifteen years of the century, are examined initially as a group with regard to their ideology of gender. Irene Tayler and Gina Luria have suggested that genre itself may be a function of gender in this period, because the novel was dominated by female authors, readers, and protagonists, while the canon of Romantic poets is entirely male. It was self-consciously feminine both in its polished crafsmanship and in its sentimental celebration of domesticity. The relationship between female-authored poetry and male Romanticism is therefore problematic for literary historians. This chapter suggests that male Regency poets therefore compensated by emphasising historical or mythic active adventure, minimising the theme of romantic love, and suffusing the issue of female chastity with the ideology of patriotism.

Keywords: Regency poets; genre; gender; male Romanticism; patriotism; Romantic poets; romantic love; female chastity

Chapter.  10412 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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