The business of literature

Report 1) covered the social and economic influences that bore on women's ability to both write and publish. The same historical climate which saw the rise into print of unprecedented numbers of women was also the same one which saw the expansion of writing's business and commercial aspects. I didn't draw any definite conclusions from this except to suggest that women were economic units and that as such they were uniquely positioned to write ABOUT the business of literature.
- They tended not to be so satirical because their position was so tenuous. (at least in published work, though there were exceptions)
-it jeopardized their status as marriageable - a tangent but an interesting one- therefore they tended NOT to write, or else to curtail themselves

Moving along... I looked at Anne Finch's 'The Miser and the Poet' as an example of the conflicts women faced in the arena of values as they grappled with issues of fame and money. It was a bit of an allegory, remember?!

I also looked at Phyllis Wheatley's 'To Mycenas' as an example of the Augustan ideal of literary patronage untainted by commercialism ie. conflated totally with poetic inspiration: Mycenas becomes the speaker's 'Muse'.

Anne Finch's `The goute and the spider'

Looked at Anne Finch's 'The goute and the spider' in depth as it pertained to "mythic models" ie, Arachne. I took this as a starting point to examine one of Finch's most characteristic traits as a poet, that is, her own self-consciousness about the act of writing and her role as a poet (read woman poet) The poem is a fable about prideful artists (spiders) who are swept away by brooms- the broom represented variously a patriarchal culture and also ohter women cattily oppressing female poetic expression). Anne Finch justifies her own task of writing as an act of love to console her husband (ie. to entertain him while he's sick) and thereby she justifies her role as a poet in terms of an acceptable social role. I linked it to a traddition of commemorative and epistolary poetry too (both genres which were considered acceptable for females). Interestingly, this poem was never published during her lifetime.

Mary Leapor and the country-house poem

Mary Leapor and the country - house poem. I basically compared Pope's `Epistle to Burlington' with Leapor's `Crumble Hall' to show how Leapor's class status affected her perspective on the genre (it was not an out and out subversion but it nevertheless contained elements ( ie. a perspective on nature that was more environmentalist- save the trees - and let Crumble-Hall crumble than Pope's which was more political back stroking let's build a new ideal society type poem) I wanted the poem to be a georgic deep down.