Women's Place in Pope's World
How was Alexander Pope's personal experience of women transformed into poetry? How characteristic of his age was Pope's attitude toward women? What was the influence of individual women such as his mother, Patty Blount and Lady Mary Montagu on his life and work? Valerie Rumbold's is the first full-length study to address these issues. Referring to previously unexploited manuscripts, she focuses both on Pope's own life and art, and on early eighteenth-century assumptions about women and gender. She offers readings of some of the well-known poems in which women feature prominently, and follows Pope's response throughout his writings in general. The poet's own alienation from the dominant culture (through religion, politics and physical handicap), and his troubled fascination with certain kinds of women, make this subject complex and compelling, with wide implications. Dr. Rumbold provides new insight, and shows how women with whom Pope dealt can themselves be seen as individuals with presence and dignity.
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