The Citational Network of Tighe, Porter, Barbauld, Lefanu, Morgan, and Hemans
The Citational Network of Tighe, Porter, Barbauld, Lefanu, Morgan, and Hemans
Abstract and Keywords
This essay looks at five Romantic-era women writers who invoke Mary Tighe in their works by name, quotation, or epigraph--Anna Maria Porter, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Alicia Lefanu, Lady Morgan, and Felicia Hemans--to consider what these invocations suggest about lines of affiliation, the construction of aesthetic communities, and attempts to shape or forecast reception. It argues that these woman writers create a citational network through the figure and work of Mary Tighe, to call attention to her significance and therein establish their own histories of influence and reception. Their citational practices produce a more expansive version of what Gerard Genette designates the ‘epigraph effect’ in Paratexts, affording opportunities for writers to signal their place in a cultural tradition, to acknowledge or choose their peers and predecessors, and to proleptically instantiate their consecration in a particular literary pantheon. They effectively create a canon of their own by building citational networks.
In making the case for the recovery of Mary Tighe in the 1990s scholars often pointed to the adverse impact John Keats’ rejection of Tighe had on her literary reputation for most of the twentieth century as the canon of the big five or six British Romantic-era male poets came into being.1 Despite the ongoing but unacknowledged influence Tighe’s posthumous 1811 Psyche, with Other Poems exerted on Keats in 1819 and 1820 as he composed and published ‘Ode to Psyche’, ‘The Eve of St. Agnes’, and ‘Lamia’, and worked on transforming ‘Hyperion’ into ‘The Fall of Hyperion’, his 31 December 1818 comment on Tighe in a letter to his brother and sister-in-law came to be seen as representative of the canonical male poets’ reception of her work: ‘Tighe and Beattie once delighted me – now I see through them and can find nothing in them – or weakness’.2 Rather than speaking for the British Romantic community, however, Keats’ comment more directly spoke to his desire to push his poetic agenda forward after the negative reviews of Endymion – a poem that also reflects Tighe’s influence – so that he might ‘be among the English Poets after my death’.3 It is one of the curiosities of twentieth-century literary history that Keats’ personally motivated comment came to bear (p.197) such weight and appear to voice a communal response to Tighe, given the plenitude of positive assessments her work received from nineteenth-century readers, writers, and critics in direct or indirect homages.4 This essay looks at some of the contemporary women writers who invoked Tighe in their works by name, quotation, or epigraph – Anna Maria Porter, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Alicia Lefanu, Lady Morgan, and Felicia Hemans – to consider what those invocations suggest about lines of affiliation, the construction of aesthetic communities, and attempts to shape or forecast reception. I argue that these Romantic-era woman writers create a citational network through the figure and work of Mary Tighe, to call attention to her significance and to establish their own histories of influence and reception.
Such citational practices produce a more expansive version of what Gerard Genette designates the ‘epigraph effect’ in Paratexts, affording opportunities for writers to signal their place in a cultural tradition, to acknowledge or choose their peers and predecessors, and to proleptically instantiate their consecration in a particular literary pantheon.5 Genette dates the first instance of an epigraph at the head of a work to 1632,6 but observes that the habitual use of epigraphs to mark each chapter of a prose narrative really begins with the gothic novels of the 1790s and the work of Ann Radcliffe, who, in Emma Clery’s view, daringly positions herself in a particular line of literary succession (Shakespeare, Milton, Thomson, Collins, Gray, et al.) through the careful associations she builds via her epigraphs.7 Clery characterizes Radcliffe as a literary bandit who employs epigraphs and quotations to enact a form of ‘textual kidnapping’ (53): ‘she creates an authorial persona of the noble outsider in a fallen world of commodified literary production through her display of cultivated sensibility, her dramatized admiration for her ‘kidnapped’ texts from Shakespeare, Milton and company’ (54). Radcliffe not only positions herself in a line of succession, she casts herself as the nominator of additions to the line by citing the works of a few female contemporaries, namely Charlotte Smith, Hannah More, and Anna Seward; thus, as Clery (p.198) argues, ‘she succeeded in bolstering her credentials as a writer to be taken seriously, with powers that aspired towards the standards set by the great national poets. To read a Radcliffe novel was not simply to idle away a few hours on a silly story. Her most celebrated works were freighted with a massive accumulation of cultural capital’ (57). Unlike the anxious and often concealed influences and intentions of the writers Harold Bloom mapped in his analyses of literary history, the overt and intentional invocations of Smith, More, and Seward by Radcliffe, or Tighe by Porter, Barbauld, Lefanu, Morgan, and Hemans, establish what Mary Orr and others identify as a mode of ‘positive influence’ that enables and enlarges successors: by citing Tighe they enhance her cultural capital and their own.8 As Ellen Moers demonstrated in her landmark discussion of ‘performing heroinism’ in Literary Women, nineteenth-century women writers built networks of affiliation through shared citation; Moers traced one such network through references to Germaine de Staël’s Corinne, a text and model of the woman genius that acquired mythic status for George Eliot, Hemans, Maria Jane Jewsbury, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Sand, Charlotte Brontë, Kate Chopin, and more.9 Some of the references Moers located expressed the anxiety of authorship Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar subsequently diagnosed in The Madwoman in the Attic, their brilliant rejoinder to Bloom.10 But most of the references Moers uncovered underscored the empowering psychology of affiliation, connection, and community that figures so prominently in twenty-first-century critical conceptions of Romantic-era sociability: the interactive, conversable worlds of salons, coteries, literary circles, and social networks that have come into sharper focus through the work of Gillian Russell, Clara Tuite, Jeffrey Cox, Michelle Levy, Stephen Behrendt, Susan Wolfson, Jon Mee, Susanne Schmid, Amy Prendergast, and many others.11 Like the actual coteries that connected (p.199) so many Romantic-era writers – including Tighe – the women writers who invoke Tighe as a posthumous presence in their poetry and fiction constitute a community or even imaginary salon engaged in reading her work and life to see or suggest how it amplifies their own works and lives.
I begin with Anna Maria Porter, whose only volume of poetry, the 1811 Ballad Romances, and Other Poems, offers a tribute to Tighe that makes a surprising connection between Corinne and Psyche: ‘Lines written after reading the “Corinne” of Madame de Stael, and the “Psyche” of the late Mrs. Henry Tighe’. Although Porter was better known as a prolific novelist, and, with her older sister Jane Porter, acknowledged during the Romantic era as ‘one of the founders of the modern historic romance’,12 she published numerous poems in literary magazines, annuals, and miscellanies throughout the 1790s and first decades of the 1800s. Not only did her work appear in The Lady’s Magazine, The Universal Magazine, The Poetical Register, The Literary Miscellany, The Chaplet, The Ladies Monthly Museum, Fraser’s Magazine, La Belle Assemblée and elsewhere (including her own novels), she was a regular contributor to ‘The Parnassian Garland’ section of The Monthly Visitor (1797–1804), which printed more than 40 of her lyrics under various signatures (‘Anna’, ‘Anna Maria’, ‘Anna Maria Porter’, ‘A.’, and ‘A. M.’), as well as poems addressed to her.13 Some of (p.200) her ‘Parnassian Garland’ lyrics engaged in a Della Cruscan-style conversation with other poets, including occasional contributor and family friend Mary Robinson, under her ‘Laura Maria’ avatar, to whom Porter dedicated at least two poems. In the deliciously barbed and competitive sixteen-line lyric ‘The Rose. To Laura’ (8 July 1800), ‘Anna Maria’ addresses her lines to a rose she intends to send to Laura to compliment and complement Laura’s bosom, which ‘numbers have languished in vain to adorn’ (line 4), but slyly warns the rose to conceal its thorn: ‘At rest on her bosom thy beauties revealing, / Ah! ne’er let it feel that thy hidest a thorn’ (lines 15–16).14 The following April, four months after Robinson’s death, ‘Anna’ offers a forty-eight-line ‘Elegy to the Memory of Mrs. Robinson’, which feelingly declares ‘Ah! Laura! had I but thy tuneful lyre, / The matchless beauties of thy verse to sing; / … / Then would I censure the base world, so prone / To doubt thy heart, whose worth they could not know’ (lines 9–14).15 Though couched in the familiar stance of the humble elegist, Porter takes up her own tuneful lyre to sing the beauties of her predecessor’s verse, and therein not only matches but in some ways surpasses it through her now peerless act of recognition.16
Tighe knew Porter’s work as a poet, as well as several of the Porter sisters’ novels.17 She used a carefully edited version of nine of the first fourteen lines of Porter’s 1797 ‘Parnassian Garland’ lyric ‘Written After Having Seen a (p.201) Lovely But Miserable Girl’18 as an epigraph for the eighth chapter of her 1803 manuscript novel Selena, in which Selena Miltern meets the tragic character Angela Harley:
- Slight was her form, and graceful o’er her neck
- Sicklied with primrose tint, her jetty locks
- Fell rich but rudely – whilst her mournful eyes
- Beamed thro’ a watry lustre, she was formed
- In Nature’s kindness – and tho’ the rose
- No longer melted in her cheek, nor blushed
- With deeper brilliance on her lip yet still
- Unnumbered graces decked her, and looked forth
- At every feature – the wreck of better days.19
Tighe omitted all of Porter’s references to the impoverished or questionable status of the ‘miserable girl’, notably lines one through five –
- Slight was her form, and graceful; as she pass’d,
- Mine eye fell on her, and with quick surprize
- Recoil’d; for the few garments that she wore,
- Blew, torn on the cold wind, and scarcely cloth’ d
- The beauties they so sullied: o’er her neck (my emphasis)
– and line thirteen: ‘At every feature – thro’ her rags there shone / The wreck of better days’ (my emphasis). But Tighe’s citation of the poem serves a crucial function in setting up Angela’s story and Selena’s compassionate role in that story. Discerning readers familiar with Porter’s fifty-six-line lyric would know that it goes on, at just this point, to speak in the first-person voice of a persona with a sympathetic ‘female eye’ (line 49) who recognizes the girl as a prostitute and regrets her fall from domesticity into vice but ultimately condemns the men who seduced her, a stance comparable to the one ‘Anna’ adopts in censuring the world that doubted ‘Laura’ in ‘An Elegy to the Memory of Mrs. Robinson’:
- (p.202) ‘Unhappy girl! a female eye shall shed
- Those tears for thee, which ought in drops of blood
- To fall from thy seducer. Shame, O world!
- That man thus privileged to ruin souls,
- Shall rove about undaunted; whilst the wretch
- Whom he hath made, must either die unseen,
- Or plunge in deeper guilt, and fall for ever!’
In Selena, Angela Harley is also a ‘lovely but miserable girl’ because she has been seduced but still pines for the seducer who abandoned her, a man Selena eventually exposes to save the broken heart and foundering reputation of another one of his prospective victims, Lady Emily Trevallyn. By prefacing Selena’s first sight of Angela with Porter’s lyric, Tighe makes potent use of the epigraph effect to establish the moral framework of her characters’ relationships and to condition the terms of her readers’ judgments. Tellingly, this chapter prints the first of the eleven Tighe lyrics Selena includes shortly after the epigraph, ‘Lord of Hearts benignly callous’ (65–6),20 a poem the novel attributes to Lady Emily, who asks ‘Insensibility’ for respite from the agony of delusive passion and seductive love. Thus Tighe’s lyric speaks to Porter’s lyric and furthers the work the chapter’s epigraph seeks to effect in establishing a line of affiliation and forecasting an ethical position for her characters and her readers.
Whether or not Porter knew that Tighe found ‘Written After Having Seen a Lovely But Miserable Girl’ an instrumental citation for Selena, Porter’s ‘Lines written after reading the “Corinne” of Madame de Stael, and the “Psyche” of the late Mrs. Henry Tighe’ addresses and expands their mutual affinity by positioning both Tighe and Staël as inspiring models who evince the same spirit of genius and voice the same theme, despite their apparent differences:
- Magic omnipotent! resistless power
- Of Genius, seraph-lipp’d! how doth thy force
- Seize the most fixed soul, and bear it on
- Thro’ every change of passion, pain, or joy! –
- How mighty is thy sway! how wide its range!
- How varied, e’en in uniform design! –
- Lo! now thro’ different lips, thy voice inspired,
- Speaks to my heart; transports, depresses, fills! –
- (p.203) In rapt amazement lost, the same fond theme
- Wondering I hear, and mark how different each! –
- Methinks from deep shades, swells th’ Eolian lyre;
- While from some twilight grove, soft Philomel
- Warbles her rival song.
Whereas the glorious improvisations of Staël’s Corinne ring and moan like the wild notes of an aolian harp (lines 14–34), the equally rapturous but gentler modulations of Psyche’s story soar and descend like a nightingale’s melody (lines 36–68). In a masterful mediation Porter not only insists on connecting these two seemingly disparate styles and the romanticized positions of their subjects and authors, she critiques what she sees as the false division a poet like Samuel Taylor Coleridge posits for the feminine mystique in ‘The Eolian Harp’, which she deliberately invokes towards the end of the poem – ‘May all blest Araby’s innumerous sweets / Hang on the breeze that sweeps them into sound!’ (76–7) – or, even more importantly, the dichotomous females of ‘Kubla Khan’.22 For Porter the woman wailing for her demon-lover and the damsel with a dulcimer sing the same song, ever empowering, and never to be forgotten, as she declares of Tighe, her ‘Nightingale of Rossana’ (line 51): ‘How happy they, who ’mid thy native shades / Roved near thee ever … / … / … whilst we / (Thro’ deep empowering woods, at distance far,) / But heard thee once, tho’ never to forget!’ (lines 60–8).23 If Coleridge laments his inability to revive enough of the Abyssinian maid’s symphony so that he could build an epic pleasure-dome that rivals Kubla Khan’s, Porter suggests that her empathetic reading of Corinne and Psyche enables her to serve as the next instrument of the ‘seraph-lipped’ power of genius, via Ballad Romances, and Other Poems, the readiest object of the benediction that concludes the poem: ‘May breath of angels aid the blissful gales, / And while thou warblest love, awake the soul / To thought of Love’s best world, the world of Heaven!’ (lines 78–80).
As the only named peers in Ballad Romances, and Other Poems,24 Tighe (p.204) and Staël may appear at first glance as unlikely precursors for a volume that presents five romance ballads in its first half (pages 3–76), followed by thirty-eight miscellaneous poems in the second half (pages 79–196), including Porter’s ‘Lines’ on reading Corinne and Psyche. While the gothic sensibilities of ‘Eugene’, ‘Lord Malcolm’, ‘The Knight of Malta’, ‘The Maid of Erin’, and ‘The Prince of the Lake’ manifest greater affinity with similar ballads by Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, or Anne Bannerman, Porter’s romances read as lyric national tales or metrical legends, specifically located in England, Scotland, Spain, and Ireland. Like Staël’s Corinne, Porter creates – or recreates – national histories in a minstrel tradition; like Tighe in Psyche, she mythologizes romance and desire. In pointing to these two precursors as models, Porter seeks to position herself in a particular romance tradition even as she signals the larger ambition driving her project. She not only wants to make a bid for the laurel that crowned Staël’s Corinne at the capitol, or to achieve the extraordinary acclaim Tighe received as the author of Psyche long before its posthumous publication in 1811. She intends to fulfill the ‘fond request’ (line 10) she made of the muse in her first ‘Parnassian Garland’ poem, the 1797 ‘Address to Poesy’, which asks to be the voice of imagination over fancy: ‘I ask to catch thy thought-inspiring breath, / To warble trancing lays resembling thine, / The soul of love to melt along my line, / Sigh in each word and tremble thro’ the song, / I seek the power to touch the gentle heart, / With bleeding sympathy and kind concern’ (lines 11–16, pages 3–5). By 1811 Porter had already published seven works of fiction, including her most famous work, The Hungarian Brothers (1807), and the very well-received Don Sebastian (1809); she and Jane Porter were beginning to acquire significant status as groundbreaking novelists for blending romance with reality, notably using ‘sensitive male warrior-protagonists whose military careers and domestic lives were closely intertwined’ (Looser 234).25 Ballad Romances, and Other Poems meant to secure even greater success in the prestige genre of poetry, following hard upon the publication of Tighe’s Psyche, with Other Poems (Longman published Ballad Romances two months after Psyche).26 It was not to be.
(p.205) Eight periodicals reviewed Ballad Romances, and Other Poems between 1811 and 1813.27 The first, the Poetical Register of 1811, praised the ballad romances as ‘beautiful’, commended the ‘glowing fancy’ of the Spenserian allegory ‘Youth’, and felt ‘The epistle from Yarico to Inkle leaves far behind every other poem which we have seen on the same subject’, but less generously concluded ‘The remaining pieces in the volume are much above mediocrity’ (p. 614).28 A far less generous and more substantial review appeared in the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine and Review, which coldly noted that an author may be skilled in one mode but not another, and declared Porter’s ‘volume so much inferior to the other writings of the ingenious author, that had it been published anonymously, no one, we are positive, would have ever thought of ascribing it to the pen of Miss Maria Porter’ (p. 200). Objecting to the ‘extravagance, exaggeration, and incongruity’ of the ballads, the reviewer pointedly belittled Porter’s ambition: ‘it was an ambition natural and excusable enough in a lady, who has deservedly attained so much fame in the department of romance, to seek also distinction in the poetical’ (p. 201). Damning with barely faint praise, the review ranked Porter’s poems so far below ‘mediocrity’ that ‘her praise must therefore be entirely negative; many of her pieces contain pretty couplets and good stanzas; but the most that can be said of them as a whole is, that they are not absolutely bad’ (p. 201). The British Critic and Critical Review were equally blunt: while the one stated ‘These poems are a little above mediocrity, but will not obtain Miss Porter any very enduring reputation’ (p. 301), the other found ‘little which deserves commendation. … We can only place her in the second class of the lesser poets of the day’ (p. 164). The Eclectic Review tempered its general disdain for the abundance of poetry in the marketplace that displays ‘presumption and defect’ by citing Porter’s compositions as ‘not remarkable for elevation of thought, or terseness of expression; but she usually writes with elegance, and is sometimes peculiarly successful in pourtraying the gentler emotions of the heart’ (p. 430); they added insult to injury by summarily dismissing the ‘dulness’ of the ballad romances in the final sentence (p. 432). The European Review managed to say nothing at all about the volume beyond hoping to (p.206) ‘procure it friends’ (p. 521), a hope echoed by the ever congenial Gentleman’s Magazine, which recommended the volume for ‘the easy simplicity of its verses, and their perfectly moral tendency’ (p. 576) and sought to cast positive attention on ‘Eugene’ as well as ‘Youth’.
The most interesting review appeared in the Monthly Review, penned without attribution by family friend Anna Barbauld, who critiqued what she saw as the volume’s shortcomings, the ballads, but recognized and strengthened the affiliations and alignments Porter tried to establish by singling out the homage to Staël and Tighe for praise, using more than half of the review to extract ‘a part of the apostrophe to the authoress of Psyche’:
Miss Porter’s Ballads display less invention than her other poems; and in ‘the knight of Malta’, which is the best of them, she hazards the following description of a ‘green and yellow melancholy’:
- ‘His cheek was once like the orange red,
- But now like the olive pale.
- And his heart that erst with pity bled,
- Now heaves through pitiless mail’. –
Yet this volume contains much that is elegant and pleasing; the ingenious allegory of ‘Youth’ has many beautiful lines; the ‘Address to a Regiment going on Foreign Service’ is both spirited and pathetic; while the ‘Lines written after reading the “Corinne” of Madame de Stael, and the “Psyche” of the late Mrs. Henry Tighe’, are fraught with so much taste, feeling, and generous enthusiasm that we should be glad to extract them at length. We shall, however, present our readers with a part of the apostrophe to the authoress of Psyche. (p. 325)
Barbauld then quoted lines 36–55 of ‘Lines written after reading the “Corinne” of Madame de Stael and the “Psyche” of the late Mrs Henry Tighe’,29 nearly two thirds of the tributary lines to Tighe, and therein implicitly suggested a similarity between Tighe’s poetry and Porter’s:
- Ah, sounds divine! whence flow ye? from yon copse,
- Steal on the depth of night, melodious sighs
- From Love’s own bosom heaved: the warbled lay,
- First softly wooing, then lamenting sad,
- Now trembling with delight, with hope, half bliss,
- With dear persuasion of partaken joy,
- (p.207) Soars and descends by turns: all nature melts
- To softer charm, beneath its influence pure (lines 36–43)
By not only naming Porter’s poem but also including Porter’s lines on Tighe, Barbauld enhanced the citational impact of Porter’s words, using her role as an anonymous reviewer to advance or at least advocate the existence of a Tighe-Porter node. Like Porter, Barbauld may or may not have known that Tighe cited her work in Selena, which quotes the first four lines of Barbauld’s 1773 ‘Song I’ (‘Come here fond youth, whoe’er thou be’) to describe Selena’s beloved Sidney Dallamore (p. 213), but these intersecting citations reveal a network of affiliations among all three.
Porter went on to publish another ten works of fiction after Ballad Romances, and Other Poems (including two with Jane Porter); she frequently interpolated her verse in the novels, and continued to contribute poems to literary magazines and annuals (especially during the 1820s), but she never published another volume of poetry. In 1819 a biographical memoir in the New British Lady’s Magazine praised her accomplishments as a novelist but only remarked, in the penultimate paragraph, that ‘it should be also mentioned, that her poetical talents are of an order far above mediocrity. In earlier life she devoted much of her attention to the Muses; but, of late years, it is only in a few occasional stanzas, here and there scattered over the pages of her novels, that we meet with the tender or the lofty rhyme, the offspring of momentary inspiration’.30 The Atheneum echoed that sentiment and phrasing in its 1825 ‘Illustrative Memoir’ of Jane Porter that mentioned Anna Maria Porter’s early promise as a poet: ‘This lady may be said, like Pope, to have “lisped in numbers”. Of late years, however, with the exception of one little volume, it is only in a few occasional stanzas, here and there scattered over the pages of her romances, that we meet with the tender or the lofty rhyme – the produce, apparently, of momentary inspiration’ (p. 289). Five years later the Atheneum published a sketch of Anna Maria Porter which offered a detailed discussion of all her novels but relegated her poetry to juvenilia, ‘found in her volume of Ballads and Lyrics’.31 When Porter died in 1832, her obituaries rightly emphasized her major contributions to narrative literature, but rarely addressed her work as a poet beyond listing the title of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems, though the North American Magazine did state that ‘Miss A. M. Porter was a sweet poetess’,32 and the Annual Biography and Obituary piece now known to be (p.208) written by Jane Porter more emphatically declared her a full-fledged bard for enriching her work with ‘those bursts from heart and mind, which only poetry can speak, or the voice of music utter. These are the instances in which the poet proves his title to the heaven-gifted name of Vates’.33
Porter never obtained a version of the crowning epithet she accorded Tighe in her 1811 tribute, whom she hailed as the ‘Nightingale of Rosanna’. Even Laura Sophia Sweetman’s 1832 elegy for Porter only described her listening to a nightingale in her infancy – ‘Lo! she is there – in the deep forest shade, / Where, in the hush of winds, the nightingale / Sings to the moon’ (lines 1–3) – and finding a temporary spiritual home in Poesy ‘on the green hill of youth’ (line 18).34 But the Porter sisters’ friend Alicia Lefanu repeated Porter’s very specific accolade for Tighe when she invoked Tighe in her 1823 novel The Outlaw.35 As Jane Porter’s obituary for Anna Maria Porter noted, Lefanu and the Porter sisters maintained a steady friendship sustained through correspondence: ‘personally, they had only met once; and, as they lived at a distance from each other, their literary, rather than their private, qualities were most known to each other’ (pp. 275–6). When Anna Maria Porter died, Lefanu expressed sympathy and asked for an account of her private character, which Jane Porter sent in a letter she reprinted in the obituary itself (comprising three of its eight pages). Novelist, poet, and biographer Alicia Lefanu came from a long line of women writers: her mother was the novelist Elizabeth Sheridan Lefanu; her grandmother was the novelist and dramatist Frances Sheridan; and her aunt was the playwright Alicia Sheridan Lefanu, host of an important Dublin salon that was ‘the resort of all the literary people’, as her protégé Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) put it.36 That circle included Tighe, who not only socialized (p.209) with but read works by members of the Lefanu and Sheridan family. Her reading journal for 6 June 1806 contains an entry on Elizabeth Lefanu’s 1804 novel The India Voyage which remarks ‘I should not have read thro’ these two volumes I believe to myself as I did in a few hours had they not been sent to me by a sister of the authoress’ (NLI 4804). A month earlier Tighe commented on reading Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Nathaniel Brassey Halhed’s 1771 translation of the Love of Epistles of Aristaenetus: ‘This little vol: was published in 1771 with the signature of H: S: but Mrs Le Fanu from whom I receiv’d it assur’d me the poetry is her brothers – It is in a style too familiarly low & too profligate to please me highly but there is something of originality & the true poet shining throughout all, nay tho a Course & affronting resemblance, there is a resemblance to the spirit & expression of Moore’.37
The scene in The Outlaw that refers to Tighe as the ‘Nightingale of Rosanna’ occurs at the Limerick country seat of the minor character Mrs. Stratford Gore, a ‘literary fine lady’ (1: p. 211) who occasionally publishes odes in a provincial magazine but frequently hosts gatherings for her large circle of friends to discuss literary, political, antiquarian, and social matters. During one typical morning levee a disparate group speculates on the origins of the ‘celebrated and incomprehensible round towers’ that dot Ireland (1: p. 212):
The Roman Catholic priest thought they were belfries, constructed by the monks in the middle ages, and used also for the purpose of watchtowers; the clergyman was of the opinion that the Medes had first erected them; the architect maintained that they were temples of the Persian Magi; the landscape-gardener believed them to be Pyrathias, or fire-temples of the druids … Mrs. Stratford Gore contended for the African sea-champions, mentioned in ancient story, as the founders of them; while Mr. O’Carolan floated in uncertainty between the different claims of the Scythians, Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Medes, and Persians; and could only come to the conclusion, that, whoever had the honour of constructing them, they were unquestionable proofs of the high antiquity of the Irish nation. (1: p. 213)
A heated argument then erupts between two antiquarians on whether Druidism and Christianity circulated from Ireland to Britain, or Britain to Ireland: the Irish Mr. O’Carolan insists that ‘Druidism was first introduced by Merlin into Britain from this island, as that Christianity was established among us by the (p.210) blessed St. Patrick’ (2: p. 217) and cites various authorities, including Giraldus, Geoffrey of Monmouth, St. Patrick, and Colonel Vallencey; the English Mr. Pendennis contends that Stonehenge ‘was the glory of Britain, ages before even the Romans set foot in the island’ (2: p. 216) and names St. George and Doctor Campbell as his authorities.38 This dispute about national origins, historical authorities, and cultural transmission abruptly ends with the arrival of the poet Mr. Moreville – an undisguised signature for Thomas Moore – whom Mrs. Gore hails as the ‘Bard of Ovoca’. When she asks him to speak of ‘the particulars of your pilgrimage, what shrines you last have visited, and what charms you have sung’ (1: p. 218), he names two sites: ‘“the patriot shades of Tinnahinch”’ (the home of Henry Grattan) and ‘“the now-deserted bower of Psyche!”’ (1: p. 219).
For Lefanu to preface her invocation of Tighe as the ‘Nightingale of Rosanna’ with a discussion of national origins and legitimating authorities, and to equate Tighe with Grattan, suggests something about the place Tighe holds in her larger narrative of Irish and women’s history. As Julia Wright argues, Lefanu’s novel ‘deals extensively with aristocratic men who fail to act as patriots and fathers, it attributes those failures to a range of causes and juxtaposes them all with a woman’s successful governance’.39 Here Lefanu explicitly positions Tighe as a female authority who embodies the spirit of Ireland through her authorship of an epic romance that features a woman who not only dares to look at what she is forbidden to see but one who actively pursues the restoration of domestic harmony. Tighe’s Psyche provides an origin myth for the national romance Lefanu scripts in The Outlaw, which offers a critical view of the aftermath of the Irish Rebellion and emphasizes the strong role women can play in repairing the nation:
the discourse turned on the lady to whom he had alluded, under the name of Psyche, from the circumstance of her being the author of the beautiful poem which bears that title. Her loss, though not very recent, continued to be lamented by all … Moreville, as if willing to charm away the spirit of melancholy he had raised, exclaimed – ‘Come, shall I give you the last strain which I dedicated to the “Nightingale of Rosanna?”’ (1: pp. 219–20)
The song Moreville sings is ‘When Time, who steals our years away’ (1: pp. 219–20), which Moore published in 1802 as ‘A Ballad Dedicated to (p.211) Mrs. Henry Tighe of Rosanna’, and would have performed at Alicia Sheridan Lefanu’s salon.40 Lefanu significantly transforms the dedication of Moore’s publication – the ‘Mrs. Henry Tighe of Rossana’ – to reclaim Tighe as the ‘Nightingale of Rosanna’, expanding the citational series that links her with Porter, Barbauld, and Tighe in a network of female authorship. And just as this episode in the novel insists on the primacy of female authority and advocacy, so too does the frame narrative for Tales of a Tourist, which contains The Outlaw (and a second novel, Fashionable Connections). Tales of a Tourist opens with the return of the newly married Lady Llanvair to her ancestral home in Wales (and carefully reports that she is richer than her husband, whom she marries for love). When the countess accidentally meets her old friend Trevallyn, an unsuccessful writer, she promises to support his efforts by soliciting the help of a third friend, a duchess: ‘“we will join forces, and maintain against all gainsayers, that the Tales of a Tourist deserve a reading. You may then publish without dread of satire. – Ah Trevallyn!” pursued the countess, after interrupting herself, “I know what that flushed brow and indignant look would say. What! shall I owe my safety or success to patronage, and female patronage too! And why not?”’ (1: p. 19). As the countess and her spouse walk away, her spouse declares ‘“It is thus female influence should indeed be exerted”’ (1: p. 20).
While Lefanu positions both Tighe and herself as significant and supportive female influences and authorities in The Outlaw, their sister salonnière Lady Morgan provides a more equivocal invocation of Tighe in her 1827 novel The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys, a roman à clef largely situated in the months leading up to the Irish Rebellion. Like The Outlaw, The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys asserts the greater viability of female governance and reverses the familiar representation of Erin as the feminized nation that needs to be saved by the masculine patriot. Morgan’s female hero Beavoin O’Flaherty frequently rescues the flailing protagonist Murrogh O’Brien – professional soldier, Dublin Volunteer, Trinity College student, and United Irishman – from morally and materially dangerous encounters. These encounters often entail seductions in which Murrogh stands as the specularized object, subject to the colonizing gaze of powerful women like Lady Knocklofty, ‘female chief of that great oligarchical family, the Proudforts – a family on which the church rained mitres, the state coronets, and the people – curses’.41 In volume two, the disguised and cross-dressed Lady Knocklofty wins a game of forfeits by securing Murrough’s release from prison and escorting him to a Dublin vice-regal party, where she presents him to the ‘vice-queen’, the Duchess of Belvoir (wife of the reigning (p.212) Lord Lieutenant). Morgan’s narrator cites two lines from the fifth canto of Tighe’s Psyche – the only canto where male power has no efficacy – to describe the circle of intimates surrounding the Duchess:
The intimates, or particular cortège of the vice-queen now drew near, and took their places, as ease and grace directed, round her, who, though many among the attendant graces were all divine –
- ‘Yet still the fairest queen,
- Like Dian ’midst her circling nymphs, appeared’.42
The group was picturesque, and with its accessories of light and shade, of ponderous mirrors, and grotesque girandoles, would have painted well. (p. 187)
Just before the citation of these lines from Psyche, the narrator reports that ‘some histrionics of the private theatricals were holding forth on the rival merits of Mrs. O’Neil and Mrs. Gardiner’ (p. 187) and provides a telling footnote: ‘Two beautiful and accomplished leaders of what was best and most intellectual in the Irish bon ton of the day. The poetical productions of Mrs. O’Neil were as admirable of those of her friend Mrs. Greville’ (p. 187). The ironic contrast the narrator draws between the valuable intellectual activities of the female poets among the Irish bon ton and the vapid frolics of the vice-queen’s court becomes even more pronounced in light of the Psyche episode cited, where Psyche visits the palace of Castabella (queen of chastity) and raptly listens to Castabella’s nymphs sing a sixteen-stanza hymn to ‘the triumphs of their spotless queen’ (canto 5, line 186, p. 126) that delineates a history of women’s resistance to sexual subjugation. Thus the narrator’s invocation of this particular section of Tighe’s Psyche not only rebukes the decadent pursuits of the vice-queen’s circle, it subtly reinforces the preface’s assertion that literature provides a means of political power or patriotic expression for women writers.43
(p.213) Although this reading posits that Morgan’s narrator cites Psyche as a rebuke to the unchaste activities the chapter details, the invocation simultaneously effects an uncomfortably sympathetic or complicit affiliation between Tighe and the vice-regal court of the 1790s, where she did, indeed, shine: in Elizabeth Blackburne’s words, ‘she was the centre of attraction in the brilliant vice-regal court of Dublin’.44 The ambiguity of the narrator’s gloss from Psyche is heightened four sentences later when the narrator uses a line from Tighe’s friendship poem ‘The Shawl’s Petition, to Lady Asgill’ (c. 1806–9) to describe Lady Knocklofty’s outfit:
Lady Knocklofty (in the same turban and caftan, in which, a night or two before, she had played Roxalana), imaged one of those –
- Which the bright sun of Persia warms’. (p. 188)
Just as Roxalana represents a figure of great female power – Haseki Hürrem Sultan, initially slave, then favorite consort, and finally wife of and arguably co-ruler with Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent – the ‘fairest form’ the shawl petitions is its former possessor, the socially prominent Lady Asgill, friend to Tighe and Morgan, and wife of the British general Sir Charles Asgill, who fought against the colonists in the American Revolution, suppressed the rebels in the Irish Rebellion, and commanded the Dublin garrison from 1797 to 1805:
- Oh, fairer than the fairest forms
- Which the bright sun of Persia warms,
- Though nymphs of Cashmire lead the dance
- With pliant grace, and beamy glance;
- And forms of beauty ever play
- Around the bowers of Moselay;
- Fairest! thine ear indulgent lend,
- And to thy suppliant Shawl attend!
(lines 1–8, Collected Poems and Journals, p. 193)
In the poem the shawl expresses its willingness to have left its native home in the ‘East’ to serve as a complement to Lady Asgill’s beauty, its unhappiness at having been ‘exiled’ to Tighe’s sick room as a gift, and its hope for a return to Lady Asgill, but if not, then at least the occasional compensation of a visit: (p.214) ‘Restore thy sweet society, / And bless at once thy friend and me’ (lines 49–50). While the poem offers a stunning exposé of the impact of colonization on the colonized, Tighe may not be making a conscious or deliberate critique in her avowal of Lady Asgill’s gift. Thus the narrator’s gloss operates even more equivocally here than in the citation from Psyche.
Lady Asgill would have presented the shawl to Tighe during one of her visits to Tighe’s home on Dominick Street, where Tighe hosted what her cousin Caroline Hamilton’s journal described as ‘little evening parties’ for her literary circle in 1806–7, which included the young and ambitious Sydney Owenson: ‘she had often little evening parties where Moore sang his sweetest songs to a few (perhaps not more than eight or ten) of those who were then most esteemed in Dublin, for rank or talents. … Lady Morgan, then Miss Owenson, was often invited to tea to entertain the company, tho’ Mary neither liked nor esteemed her, but she tried to bring together those who could talk to amuse her’ (Collected Poems and Journals, p. 263).45 Tighe’s few surviving notes to Owenson suggest greater fondness than Hamilton accords, and indicate that Tighe not only took an interest in furthering Owenson’s career by introducing her to important members of society like Lady Charlemont but also shared her work with Owenson. In November 1806 she writes ‘My Dear Glorvina, Lest in your poetical flights you should forget to-morrow evening, this is to request you will come early, and bring your best looks and best spirits; the beautiful Lady Charlemont is coming to meet you expressly. Lady Asgil brings Sir Arthur Wellesley, and William Parnell joins us as soon as he can – so come’.46 In June 1809 she affectionately chastises
Naughty Glorvina! You promis’d me fair but here I have been ten days & not a line from your highness’s hand – I send you the ‘lily’ however, tho’ I suppose you have forgotten it & the writer – I hope your eyes are quite well & brilliant as ever, inflicting no sufferings on yourself at least whatever they may do on the male part of the creation – Are you most occupied with Merrion square or Hindostan & do you intend to perform your promise & indulge with copious sheets of whim & folly Yrs truly MBT47
In December 1809 a letter from Lady Charleville to Owenson corroborates this counterpoint to Hamilton’s view: ‘I am grieved to find Mrs. Henry Tighe is (p.215) very ill; I know how good she has been to you; and I think her taste should bias every creature who has a heart to feel for her, or soul to acknowledge her, as the first genius of her day’.48 Although Tighe’s journal entries on Owenson’s works offer some harsh criticism, they also offer high praise, and indicate that Tighe read everything Owenson published: she frequently expresses impatience with the ‘pedantic affectation’ she finds in St. Clair, The Wild Irish Girl, The Lay of an Irish Harp, and Patriotic Sketches of Ireland, but lauds the ‘picturesque description’, ‘true feeling’, and ‘vast deal of talent’ she finds in St. Clair, The Wild Irish Girl, The Novice of Saint Dominick, and Woman: Or Ida of Athens, and repeatedly asserts that Owenson ‘has undoubted genius’.49 After Tighe’s death Morgan mourned the passing of ‘dear Psyche’ in a 7 June 1812 letter to Alicia Sheridan Lefanu which notes all ‘the changes that have taken place in the little circle of my intimacy within a few years’.50 But fifteen years later, when Morgan’s narrator invokes Tighe in The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys, she both acknowledges and distances herself from the ‘dear Psyche’ and ‘naughty Glorvina’ of those long ago days, in as complex a manner as the Lady Morgan of 1846 who differentiates herself from the Sydney Owenson of 1806 when she prepared her revised edition of The Wild Irish Girl for Colburn’s Standard Novels series, whose title page identifies the work as ‘The Wild Irish Girl. By Sydney Owenson. Edited by Lady Morgan’.51
If Morgan both acknowledges and yet repudiates Tighe in the complicated set of citations she presents in The O’Briens and The O’Flahertys, so too the final writer this essay will take up, Felicia Hemans, who offers an artfully anonymous tribute to Tighe in her 1827 ‘The Grave of a Poetess’, which she subsequently positions as the final lyric record in her 1828 collection Records of Woman, the only record written for a contemporary woman and poet. As the rich body of criticism on this poem notes, Hemans never refers to Tighe explicitly in the body of the poem but reveals the identity of ‘the poetess’ as ‘the author of Psyche’ in a footnote to the title that cites the Tales by the (p.216) O’Hara Family (John Banim’s 1825 The Fetches): ‘Extrinsic interest has lately attached to the fine scenery of Woodstock, near Kilkenny, on account of its having been the last residence of the author of Psyche. Her grave is one of many in the church-yard of the village’.52 Like Anna Maria Porter, Hemans makes a surprising connection between Tighe and Staël’s Corinne through the epigraph that follows the title, which quotes an epitaph that Corinne views as she wanders through the church of Santa Croce: ‘“Ne me plaignez pas – si vous saviez / Combien de peines ce tombeau m’a epargnées!”’53 Thus Hemans not only frames one of her most powerful explorations of poetic legacy with references to Tighe and Staël, she invokes Porter’s 1811 homage to Tighe and Staël as she contemplates what it means to succeed or fail as a woman and artist, and therein brings this essay full circle.
As Hemans imagines herself standing over the grave she had not yet seen (but would visit three years later), she subtly evokes Tighe’s poetry in her opening lines: ‘I stood beside thy lowly grave; – / Spring-odours breath’d around’ (lines 1–2). The second line carefully echoes the first line of Tighe’s final poem ‘On Receiving a Branch of Mezereon Which Flowered at Woodstock. December 1809’: ‘Odours of Spring, my sense ye charm’ (Collected Poems and Journals, p. 204). Significantly, ‘The Mezereon’ is not only Tighe’s final poem, it is a poem that correctly anticipates her death four months later; it is the poem that concludes the posthumous edition of Psyche, with Other Poems her family published in 1811, just as ‘The Grave of a Poetess’ concludes Records of Woman; and it is a poem that makes a very specific request of Tighe’s survivors:
- My last sad claim receive!
- Oh! do not quite your friend forget,
- Forget alone her faults;
- And speak of her with fond regret
- Who asks your lingering thoughts.
(p.217) Tighe asks her survivors to remember her. Hemans fulfills that request with perhaps a little too much precision in speaking of Tighe with fond regret in a second allusion to ‘The Mezereon’ – ‘Here a vain love to passing flowers / Thou gav’st’ (line 41–2) – but with acute recognition in offering textual invocations of Psyche in the final two stanzas. In the next-to-last stanza, Hemans exclaims ‘Thou hast left sorrow in thy song, / A voice not loud, but deep! / The glorious bowers of earth among, / How often didst thou weep!’ (lines 45–8), lines that refer to Tighe’s epic beginning, which presents Psyche weeping in a bower: ‘Fair Psyche through untrodden forests went, / To lone shades uttering oft a vain lament. / … / Here the young branches shot their arms athwart, / And wove the bower so thick in every part’ (canto 1, lines 4–14, p. 57). In the final stanza Hemans recalls the extraordinary ending of Tighe’s poem, where Tighe mourns her return to the ‘mortal ground’ of reality from the visionary world of imagination and poetry. Hemans asks ‘Where couldst thou fix on mortal ground / Thy tender thoughts and high? – / Now peace the woman’s heart hath found, / And joy the poet’s eye’ (lines 49–52). Tighe writes of ‘dark oblivion’s silent tomb’:
- Dreams of Delight farewel! your charms no more
- Shall gild the hours of solitary gloom!
- The page remains – but can the page restore
- The vanished bowers which Fancy taught to bloom?
- Ah no! her smiles no longer can illume
- The path my Psyche treads no more for me;
- Consigned to dark oblivion’s silent tomb
- The visionary scenes no more I see,
- Fast from the fading lines the vivid colours flee!
(canto 6, lines 532–40, p. 151)
In ‘The Grave of a Poetess’ Hemans inscribes a deft tribute to ‘the author of Psyche’ that ultimately seeks to secure her own reception via the poem’s citational network. As Labbe and Matthews observe, the ‘poet’s eye’ becomes the ‘poet’s I’, with Hemans subsuming Tighe in a discursive act that Paul Westhover usefully labels auto-canonization.54
When Hemans does visit Tighe’s grave in 1831, she has the opportunity to read Tighe’s manuscripts, which she addresses in one of her final poems, the 1834 ‘On Records of Immature Genius, Written after reading Memorials of the late Mrs. Tighe’ (published in the posthumous 1836 Poetical Remains). Her letters never indicate whether she looked through Tighe’s reading journal, or saw the following entry for 29 July 1808: ‘Poems of F. D. Browne aged 13 (p.218) very wonderful considering them as they are the works of a beautiful child’ (NLI 4804). But her letters do mention the disappointment she experienced in seeing John Flaxman’s statue of Tighe in the family mausoleum, with its peculiar Psyche figure perched on top of Tighe’s reclining head, ‘a very small Titania-looking sort of figure with wings, which I thought interfered wofully with the singleness of effect which the tomb would have produced’.55 The first version of the poem Hemans wrote to commemorate the experience, her 1831 ‘To a Butterfly Near a Tomb’, occludes even an oblique mention of Tighe; the forty-line lyric presents a speaker at an anonymous tomb immersed in dark thoughts that are interrupted by a passing butterfly whose flight becomes an inspiring image of the soul’s transcendence: ‘I stood where the lip of Song lay low, / Where the dust was heavy on Beauty’s brow; / Where the stillness hung on the heart of Love, / And a marble weeper kept watch above’ (lines 1–4).56 Only the closest of Hemans’ friends might guess the site or subject through the coded reference to the marble weeper, a factor that notably changes in Hemans’ revision of the poem for her 1834 volume National Lyrics, and Songs for Music, where she makes the references to Tighe explicit. Retitled ‘Written After Visiting a Tomb, Near Woodstock, in the County of Kilkenny’, a clear echo of the title of the penultimate poem in printed in Psyche, with Other Poems, ‘Sonnet Written at Woodstock, in the County of Kilkenny, the Seat of William Tighe. June 30, 1809’, Hemans thoroughly utilizes the epigraph effect in citing the fourth stanza of Tighe’s most famous lyric, ‘The Lily. May 1809’, and directly attributing the epigraph to ‘Mrs. Tighe’:
- Yes! hide beneath the mouldering heap,
- The undelighting, slighted thing;
- There in the cold earth, buried deep,
- In silence let it wait the Spring.
Mrs. Tighe’s Poem on the Lily.57
Furthermore, she adds a stanza that not only makes the number of lines in her poem match the number of lines in ‘The Lily’ (eleven quatrains), the new ninth stanza returns attention to Tighe as the dead body in the tomb, unlike the first iteration of the poem, which stays focused on the butterfly: ‘And she, that voiceless below me slept, / Flow’d not her song from a heart that wept?’ (lines 33–4).
(p.219) In Tighe’s poem the lily’s resurgence each spring from a ‘withered, perished … obscure unsightly root’ (lines 1–2, p. 30) presages the soul’s emergence from a material body into an eternal spring:
- So Faith shall seek the lowly dust
- Where humble Sorrow loves to lie,
- And bid her thus her hopes entrust,
- And watch with patient, cheerful eye;
- And bear the long, cold, wintry night,
- And bear her own degraded doom,
- And wait till Heaven’s reviving light,
- Eternal Spring! shall burst the gloom.
(lines 37–44, p. 31)
With Tighe’s poem and tomb clearly marked as the object of contemplation in ‘Written After Visiting a Tomb, Near Woodstock, in the Country of Kilkenny’, Hemans effectively recasts Tighe’s metaphor so that Tighe’s entombed body constitutes the root that ultimately flowers in Hemans’ song, thus positioning Hemans as Tighe’s successor in another instance of auto-canonization, with Hemans literally speaking over ‘she, that voiceless below me slept’ (line 33), singing a song for Tighe (and herself) that flows from her own weeping heart: ‘Flow’d not her song from a heart that wept?’ (line 34). Now the butterfly that interrupts Hemans’ thoughts not only provides a generic image of the soul’s transmigration, it specifically invokes Tighe’s Psyche (both soul and butterfly in ancient Greek) and glosses or even supplants Tighe’s analogous image of the lily. Most importantly, the poem’s concluding stanza suggests that the butterfly’s flight marks the transfer of genius from Tighe to Hemans: ‘Thou dost image the freed soul’s birth, / And its flight away o’er the mists of earth, / Oh! fitly thy path is through the flowers that rise / Round the dark chamber where Genius lies!’ (lines 41–4). In 1831 the penultimate line read ‘Oh! fitly Thou shinest mid the flowers that rise’ (line 39); the subtle but potent shift from ‘Thou shinest mid’ to ‘thy path is through’ (line 43) underscores the role Hemans assigns herself in this second poem about Tighe’s grave, which, like ‘The Grave of a Poetess’, presents Hemans as the inheritor of the poetess’s crown. If Hemans offers an unambiguous invocation of Tighe in the epigraph for ‘Written After Visiting a Tomb’, she also firmly seals her in the encrypted body of the poem; unlike the footnoted ‘author of Psyche’ whose ‘voice not loud, but deep!’ filters through the echoing lines of ‘The Grave of a Poetess’ (line 46), the ‘Mrs. Tighe’ who authors ‘The Lily’ is completely silenced in Hemans’ ‘Tomb’, where ‘she, that voiceless below me slept’ (line 33).
(p.220) Hemans’ first tribute to Tighe famously initiates an elegiac chain that constitutes a map of female authorship and succession for nineteenth-century women poets, linking Tighe (‘The Mezereon’), Hemans (‘The Grave of a Poetess’), Letitia Elizabeth Landon (‘Stanzas on the Death of Mrs. Hemans’, ‘Felicia Hemans’), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (‘Stanzas Addressed to Miss Landon, and Suggested by Her ‘Stanzas on the Death of Mrs. Hemans’, ‘L. E. L.’s Last Question’), and Christina Rossetti (‘L. E. L.’), among others (such as Maria Jane Jewsbury, Dora Greenwall, or Emily Dickinson).58 That extended elegiac chain is as well established in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary criticism as the citational network inspired by Staël: both demonstrate how women writers attempt to inscribe their own traditions of authorship, establish their own histories of influence, and declare their own affiliations with one another to pre-emptively predicate their reception and literary reputations. How many more might we locate in tracing the references and invocations nineteenth-century women writers provided as they sought to construct their own canons? This essay only begins to explore the citational network that emerges around the figure and work of Mary Tighe as Anna Maria Porter, Anna Barbauld, Alicia Lefanu, Lady Morgan, and Felicia Hemans call attention to her significance and therein establish their own histories of influence and reception. It does not include Mary Brunton, whose 1814 novel Discipline performs the sort of literary kidnapping and taste-making Clery attributed to Radcliffe in using excerpts from Tighe, Joanna Baillie, and Smith for three of her thirty chapter epigraphs (alongside Shakespeare and male company).59 It does not include Susan Ferrier, whose 1824 novel The Inheritance offers a truly funny yet poignant episode in which the heroine’s unsophisticated relatives butcher the pronunciation of Psyche while they are examining some finely bound books:
‘This is beautiful’, said Mrs. Larkins, displaying some fine engravings in one of them to her sisters-in-law; – ‘I never saw this before, “Fisk, by Mrs. Tigg”’, – reading the title of it.
‘Fishie, my dear’, whispered Mr. Larkins, as if a little ashamed of her mal-pronunciation.
‘Dear! is that Peseechye?’ said Miss Larkins; – ‘a sweet, purty thing it is’.
(p.221) Gertrude could almost have cried at this Malaprop murder of ‘Psyche, by Mrs. Tighe’, while the Duchess had recourse to her little affected cough, to conceal the play of her muscles.60
Nor does it include any unpublished citations, such as the tributary Spenserian stanza Mary Leadbeater sends to Melesina Trench in 1812 after she receives and reads through her own copy of Psyche, with Other Poems, opening up an intriguing aesthetic connection:
- Genius of Spencer, dost thou hover near
- The favoured banks of Mulla’s pastoral stream?
- Or midst Rosanna’s groves, to science dear,
- Lovest thou to bid thy former lustre beam?
- Alas! how short-lived this delicious gleam!
- How soon are closed in everlasting sleep
- Those eyes which caught new radiance from the theme!
- Now, while their tears the flowers of fancy steep,
- Sad Psyche and her love o’er the pale marble weep.61
All these references, invocations, acknowledgments and occasional repudiations of Tighe and her work chart a set of influences and an alternate course of literary history that underscores the significance women writers found in one another’s works and their own efforts to construct what we call Romanticism by building citational networks.
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—. ‘Elegy to the Memory of Mrs. Robinson’. The Monthly Visitor, 12 (April 1801).
—. ‘The Rose. To Laura’. The Monthly Visitor, 10 (July 1800).
—. ‘Written After Having Seen a Lovely But Miserable Girl’. The Literary Miscellany; Or, Selections & Extracts: Classical and Scientific; with Originals, in Prose and Verse. Vol. 5. London: Nicholson, 1804.
—. ‘Written After Having Seen a Lovely But Miserable Girl’. The Parnassian Garland. Forming the Poetry of The Monthly Visitor, Vol. I and II. London, 1797.
—. ‘Written After Having Seen a Lovely But Miserable Girl’. The Poetical Register, and Repository of Fugitive Poetry, for 1801. London: Rivington, 1801.
Porter, Jane. ‘Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Annual Biography and Obituary, 17 (1833).
Prendergast, Amy. Literary Salons Across Britain and Ireland in the Long Eighteenth Century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. British Critic, 40 (September 1812).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Critical Review, 1, series 4 (February 1812).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Eclectic Review, 8 (April 1812).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Edinburgh Monthly Magazine and Review (Scotish Review), 1 (September 1812).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. European Magazine, 64 (December 1813).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Gentleman’s Magazine, 83: 2 (December 1813).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Monthly Review, 67 (March 1812).
‘Review of Ballad Romances, and Other Poems. By Miss Anna Maria Porter’. Poetical Register, 8 (1811).
‘Review of Psyche, with Other Poems. By the late Mrs. Henry Tighe’. Poetical Register, 8 (1811).
Robinson, Mary. Mary Robinson: Selected Poems, ed. Judith Pascoe. Peterborough: Broadview, 2000.
—. Poems, ed. Daniel Robinson, The Works of Mary Robinson, ed. William D. Brewer. 8 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2009. Vols. 1–2.
Ross, Marlon. The Contours of Masculine Desire: Romanticism and the Rise of Women’s Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Russell, Gillian and Clara Tuite. Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770–1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Ryan, Brandy. ‘“Echo and Reply”: The Elegies of Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett’. Victorian Poetry, 46: 3 (2008).
Schmid, Susanne. British Literary Salons of the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Staël, Germaine de. Corinne, or Italy, trans. and ed. Avriel Goldberger. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987.
Sweetman, Laura Sophia. Lyric and Other Poems. London: Longman, 1808.
—. ‘Pleasant be thy rest, O lovely beam’. The Gentleman’s Magazine, 102 (December 1832).
—. Poems. London: Phillips, 1805.
—. The Siege of Zaragoza, and Other Poems. London: Miller, 1812.
Tighe, Mary. The Collected Poems and Journals of Mary Tighe, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
—. Letter to Sydney Owenson. MS GEN 1126 Box 2, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven.
—. Letters to Joseph Cooper Walker. MS 1461/5–7, Trinity College Library, Dublin.
—. Reading Journal. MS 4804, National Library of Ireland, Dublin.
—. Selena by Mary Tighe: A Scholarly Edition, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.
—. Verses Transcribed for H. T., ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin. Romantic Circles, 2015. rc.umd.edu/editions/tighe_verses.
Van Remoortel, Marianne. Lives of the Sonnet, 1787–1895: Genre, Gender, and Criticism. Farnham: Ashgate, 2011.
Ward, William. Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1798–1820. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1972.
Westhover, Paul. ‘Imaginary Pilgrimages: Felicia Hemans, Dead Poets, and Romantic Historiography’. Literature Compass, 2 (2005), RO 112, 1–16.
Wolfson, Susan J. Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Wright, Julia M. ‘“All the Fire-Side Circle”: Irish Women Writers and the Sheridan-Lefanu Coterie’. Keats–Shelley Journal, 55 (2006).
—. Representing the National Landscape in Irish Romanticism. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014.
(1) See Marlon Ross, The Contours of Masculine Desire: Romanticism and the Rise of Women’s Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Greg Kucich, ‘Gender Crossings: Keats and Tighe’, Keats–Shelley Journal, 44 (1995), pp. 29–39; and Harriet Kramer Linkin, ‘Recuperating Romanticism in Mary Tighe’s Psyche’, in Romanticism and Women Poets: Opening the Doors of Reception, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin and Stephen C. Behrendt (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999), pp. 144–62.
(2) The Letters of John Keats, ed. Hyder Edward Rollins, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), 2: p. 18.
(3) Letter to George and Georgiana Keats, c. 25 October 1818, Rollins, 1: p. 394. Also see 8 October 1818 letter to James Augustus Hessey, in which Keats says with regard to Endymion, ‘I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest’ (Rollins, 1: p. 374).
(4) As Arnold Markley observed, that number included canonical figures like Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Shelley. See his essay ‘Curious Transformations: Cupid, Psyche, and Apuleius in the Shelleys’ Works’, The Keats–Shelley Review, 17 (2003), pp. 120–35. For a larger list see my essay on ‘Mary Tighe and Literary History: the Making of a Critical Reputation’, Literature Compass, 7: 7 (July 2010), pp. 564–76.
(5) Gerard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. Jane E. Lewin (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), p. 160.
(6) Genette initially cites La Rochefoucauld’s 1678 edition of Maximes, but footnotes Bardin’s 1632 Lycée du sieur Bardin (p. 145).
(7) Emma J. Clery, Women’s Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley (Devon: Northcote House, 2000).
(8) Mary Orr, Intertextuality: Debates and Contexts (Cambridge: Polity, 2003), p. 84. Also see Michael Baxandall, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), pp. 58–9 and Jay Clayton and Eric Rothstein, Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), pp. 6–7. For Harold Bloom see The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973) or A Map of Misreading (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975).
(9) Ellen Moers, Literary Women: The Great Writers (New York: Doubleday, 1976), pp. 173–210. See Kari Lokke’s Tracing Women’s Romanticism: Gender, History and Transcendence (New York: Routledge, 2004) for a book-length treatment of Corinne and its impact on Mary Shelley, Bettine von Arnim, George Sand, and Isaak Dineson.
(10) Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).
(11) Gillian Russell and Clara Tuite, Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770–1840 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), Jeffrey Cox, Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and Their Circle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), Michelle Levy, Family Authorship and Romantic Print Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), Stephen C. Behrendt, British Women Poets and the Romantic Writing Community (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), Susan J. Wolfson, Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), Jon Mee, Conversable Worlds (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), Susanne Schmid, British Literary Salons of the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and Amy Prendergast, Literary Salons Across Britain and Ireland in the Long Eighteenth Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
(12) H, ‘Contemporary Poets and Writers of Fiction. No. XII. – Miss Anna Maria Porter’, La Belle Assemblée, or Court and Fashionable Magazine, new series 4: 22 (October 1826), p. 144. The ‘Illustrative Memoir of Miss Jane Porter’ in The Atheneum, new series 3: 8 (15 July 1825) similarly remarks ‘It is not too much to say, that, of the superior historical romance, Miss [Jane] Porter is the founder’ (p. 290). As Devoney Looser notes, scholars recognize that the genre of historical fiction began in the 1760s, long before Walter Scott’s Waverley novels as once thought, which Jane Porter’s celebrated novels Thaddeus of Warsaw (1803) and The Scottish Chiefs (1810) predate, as does Anna Maria Porter’s The Hungarian Brothers (1807). See Looser’s ‘The Porter Sisters, Women’s Writing, and Historical Fiction’, in The History of British Women’s Writing, 1750–1830, ed. Jacqueline M. Labbe (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 233–53.
(13) The first ‘Parnassian Garland’ collection, for instance, contained sonnets by R. A. Davenport and Woodville (probably Samuel Egerton Brydges) addressed to ‘Miss Anna Maria Porter’. See Marianne Van Remoortel, Lives of the Sonnet, 1787–1895: Genre, Gender, and Criticism (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011) for some discussion of the Monthly Visitor (p. 74).
(14) The Monthly Visitor, 10 (July 1800), p. 301. This poem may or may not have been precipitated by the two poems Mary Robinson published for the Porter sisters in the 16 June 1800 Morning Post and Gazetteer, ‘To Miss Porter, in the Character of a Nun’ (for Jane Porter) and ‘To Miss Maria Porter, as Roxalana’, which follow a series of poems by Jane Porter. Daniel Robinson notes that the Porter sisters ‘attended a much publicized masquerade; Robinson’s poems to each are based on the costumes the sisters likely wore’ (The Works of Mary Robinson, ed. William D. Brewer, 8 vols. [London: Pickering & Chatto, 2009], 2: p. 433). Robinson invited the Porter sisters and their mother to visit in a 27 August 1800 letter to Jane Porter which famously stated ‘If I do not enter into the true spirit of Friendship for my own Sex, it is because I have almost universally found that Sex unkind and hostile towards me . … The women whom I have most admired, have been the least prone to condemn, while they have been themselves the most blameless. – Of this distinguished class I consider you’ (Mary Robinson: Selected Poems, ed. Judith Pascoe [Peterborough: Broadview, 2000], p. 371).
(15) The Monthly Visitor, 12 (April 1801), pp. 410–11.
(16) See Jacqueline Labbe’s ‘Re-membering: Memory, Posterity, and the Memorial Poem’, in Memory and Memorials, 1789–1914: Literary and Cultural Perspectives, ed. Matthew Campbell, Jacqueline M. Labbe, and Sally Shuttleworth (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 132–46 for discussion of how women poets employ elegiac recognition to consecrate their taste as survivors.
(17) Tighe’s reading journal entry for 17 March 1809 declares The Hungarian Brothers ‘very inferior to Thaddeus of Warsaw – stupid’. On 1 June 1809 she notes ‘Ker Porter’s travels in Russia unmercifully quizzed’ in the Edinburgh Review. See MS 4804, National Library of Ireland, Dublin.
(18) ‘Written After Having Seen a Lovely But Miserable Girl’ was first published in The Parnassian Garland. Forming the Poetry of The Monthly Visitor, Vol. I and II (London, 1797), pp. 116–7, reprinted in The Poetical Register, and Repository of Fugitive Poetry, for 1801 (London: Rivington, 1801), pp. 259–60, The Literary Miscellany; Or, Selections & Extracts: Classical and Scientific; with Originals, in Prose and Verse, vol. 5 (London: Nicholson, 1804), pp. 58–9 and elsewhere.
(19) Mary Tighe, Selena by Mary Tighe: A Scholarly Edition, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), p. 64.
(20) Formally titled ‘Verses Written for Emily 1799’ in Tighe’s definitive 1805 collection Verses Transcribed for H. T., ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin (Romantic Circles, 2015), rc.umd.edu/editions/tighe_verses.
(21) Anna Maria Porter, Ballad Romances, and Other Poems (London: Longman, 1811), pp. 123–7.
(22) Although ‘Kubla Khan’ was not published until 1816 in Christabel; Kubla Khan: A Vision; The Pains of Sleep (London: John Murray, 1816), Porter could have had access to the manuscript (via Robinson, at the very least, whose response to the poem ‘Mrs. Robinson to the Poet Coleridge’ was published in her posthumous Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Robinson, Written by Herself, 4 vols. [London: Phillips, 1801], 4: pp. 145–9).
(23) These lines suggest that Porter may have had the opportunity to hear Tighe read Psyche, perhaps while Tighe was in England in 1804–5, seeking medical treatment for her tuberculosis and preparing the manuscript of Psyche for private publication.
(24) In the prefatory comment to ‘A War-Song. Written in the Summer of 1808’ Porter notes that she gave a manuscript of the poem to Sir Thomas Dyer (p. 120); she also includes what is most likely a poem for her sister, ‘Sonnet on Jane’ (p. 155). Looser observes that ‘the Porters do not often credit (privately or publicly) male or female predecessors with having inspired their own work – the very thing that they claimed was happening to them’ (p. 245).
(25) Also see Thomas McLean, ‘Nobody’s Argument: Jane Porter and the Historical Novel’, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, 7: 2 (2007), pp. 88–103.
(26) According to the Records of the Longman Group, Longman published the quarto edition of Psyche, with Other Poems in May 2011 (followed by the octavo edition in August 1811) and published Porter’s Ballad Romances, and Other Poems in July 2011 (MS 1393, Longman Archives, Impression Book 4, University of Reading Library, Reading).
(27) See William Ward, Literary Reviews in British Periodicals, 1798–1820, 2 vols. (New York: Garland, 1972), 2: p. 447, who lists the following eight reviews: British Critic, 40 (September 1812), p. 301; Critical Review, 1, series 4 (February 1812), pp. 164–5; Eclectic Review, 8 (April 1812), pp. 430–2; Edinburgh Monthly Magazine and Review (Scotish Review), 1 (September 1812), pp. 133–41; European Magazine, 64 (December 1813), p. 521; Gentleman’s Magazine, 83: 2 (December 1813), p. 576; Monthly Review, 67 (March 1812), pp. 325–6; and Poetical Register, 8 (1811), p. 614.
(28) Ironically, this issue of the Poetical Register also reviewed Tighe’s Psyche, with Other Poems, noting that it was now in its fourth edition, and the Tighe was fully deserving of ‘the general applause which the merit of her work has gained for her’ (p. 604).
(29) Barbauld inadvertently omits line 45, ‘With gentler murmur glide the silver streams’.
(30) ‘Biographical Memoir of Miss Anna Maria Porter’, New British Lady’s Magazine, 3 (July 1819), p. 5.
(31) ‘Miss Anna Maria Porter’, The Atheneum, 3rd series 3:8 (15 January 1830), p. 289.
(32) North American Magazine, 3: 13 (November 1833), p. 62. The Annual Register, 74 (1832), pp. 209–10, The New Monthly Magazine, new series 36 part 3 (August 1, 1832), pp. 361–2, and The Gentleman’s Magazine, 102 (August 1832), p. 183 only listed the title (a second obituary in The Gentleman’s Magazine, 102 [December 1832], pp. 575–8 mentioned her childhood affinity for poetry). The Monthly Traveller, 5: 4 (April, 1834), pp. 134–6 makes no mention at all.
(33) Jane Porter, ‘Miss Anna Maria Porter’, Annual Biography and Obituary, 17 (1833), p. 274. Thomas McClean identifies Jane Porter as the author: ‘On September 30, 1832, Porter informed Charles Denham of her intention to write this obituary of her sister’ (p. 59). See his ‘Jane Porter’s Later Works, 1825–1846’, Harvard Library Bulletin, 20: 2 (Summer 2009), pp. 45–62, which cites this letter deposited at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Autograph File (*42M-87).
(34) Laura Sophia Sweetman, ‘Pleasant be thy rest, O lovely beam’, The Gentleman’s Magazine, 102 (December 1832), p. 578. Laura Sophia Temple, later Sweetman (1783–1848), was the author of three books of poetry: Poems (London: Phillips, 1805), Lyric and Other Poems (London: Longman, 1808), and The Siege of Zaragoza, and Other Poems (London: Miller, 1812).
(35) The Outlaw is the first of the two tales Lefanu published in Tales of a Tourist, Containing The Outlaw and Fashionable Connexions, 4 vols. (London: Newman, 1823), 1: pp. 23; 88.
(36) Lady Morgan’s Memoirs: Autobiography, Diaries and Correspondence, ed. W. Hepworth Dixon, 2 vols. (London: Allen, 1862), 1: p. 144. See Julia Wright’s ‘“All the Fire-Side Circle”: Irish Women Writers and the Sheridan-Lefanu Coterie’, Keats–Shelley Journal, 55 (2006), pp. 63–72 for discussion of this complex circle.
(37) NLI 4804, 6 May 1806. Dramatist and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816) was the older brother of Alicia Sheridan Lefanu and Elizabeth Sheridan Lefanu.
(38) Thomas Campbell’s Strictures on the Ecclesiastical and Literary History of Ireland till the Introduction of the Roman Ritual, and the Establishment of Papal Supremacy by Henry II (Dublin: Luke White, 1789) positioned itself against the Irish antiquarian histories of Charles Vallencey and Charles O’Conor (among others).
(39) Julia M. Wright, Representing the National Landscape in Irish Romanticism (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014), p. 120.
(40) Thomas Moore, When Time, who steals our years away: A Ballad Dedicated to Mrs. Henry Tighe (London: John Carpenter, 1802).
(41) Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan), The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys: A National Tale, ed. Julia M. Wright (Ontario: Broadview, 2013), p. 106.
(42) Mary Tighe, ‘Psyche; or, the Legend of Love’, in The Collected Poems and Journals of Mary Tighe, ed. Harriet Kramer Linkin (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005), canto 5, lines 145–6, p. 125. Morgan changes Tighe’s ‘mid’ to ‘’midst’.
(43) Susan Egenolf offers a particularly rich reading of the novel’s editorial voice and glosses in ‘“Have you Irish?”: Heroism in Morgan’s The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys’, The Art of Political Fiction in Hamilton, Edgeworth and Owenson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 157–84. Also see Wright’s introduction to the Broadview edition, which observes that the narrator is ‘the most likely to refer to non-dramatic Irish literature, most predictably Irish historians such as Curry, Keating, O’Conor, O’Halloran, and Walker, who round out the historical dimensions of the novel, but also poets and satirists such as Goldsmith, Moore, O’Kelly, Swift, and Tighe’ (p. 28).
(44) E. Owens Blackburne, ‘Mrs. Mary Tighe’, Illustrious Irishwomen, 2 vols. (London: Tinsley, 1877), 2: p. 53. Blackburne refers to Tighe’s debut in the early 1790s.
(46) Lady Morgan, The Book of the Boudoir, 2 vols. (New York: Harper, 1829), 1: pp. 55–6.
(47) MS GEN 1126 Box 2, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven. Tighe refers to her poem ‘The Lily. May, 1809’ (Collected Poems and Journals, pp. 202–3).
(49) Tighe’s reading journal contains entries for St. Clair on 29 April 1806, for The Wild Irish Girl on 8 November 1806, for The Novice of Saint Dominick in December 1806, for The Lay of an Irish Harp on 12 April 1807, for Patriotic Sketches of Ireland on 16 November 1807, and for Woman; Or Ida of Athens in January 1809. Tighe also makes multiple references to Owenson in her letters to Joseph Cooper Walker, MS 1461/5–7, Trinity College Library, Dublin.
(51) I owe this observation to Ina Ferris, who cites the 1846 title page after a discussion of Morgan’s 1829 preface ‘To the Reader’ for The Book of the Boudoir, and goes on to note that ‘even as it conveniently distances her from the embarrassing effusions of her younger self, the divided signature attests to her persistent wariness of unitary bodies and single names’ (The Romantic National Tale and the Question of Ireland [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002], p. 153).
(52) Felicia Hemans, ‘The Grave of a Poetess’, New Monthly Magazine, new series 20 (1827), pp. 69–70, reprinted in Records of Woman: With Other Poems (Edinburgh: Blackwood, London: Cadell, 1828). Three particularly detailed discussions occur in Samantha Matthews’ Poetical Remains: Poets’ Graves, Bodies, and Books in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 77–112, Brandy Ryan’s ‘“Echo and Reply”: The Elegies of Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett’, Victorian Poetry, 46: 3 (2008), pp. 249–77, and Paul Westhover’s ‘Imaginary Pilgrimages: Felicia Hemans, Dead Poets, and Romantic Historiography’, Literature Compass, 2 (2005), RO 112, 1–16.
(53) Avriel Goldberger translates these lines as ‘Do not pity me . … If you only knew how many sorrows this tomb has spared me!’ in Corinne, or Italy (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 187), p. 367.
(55) Letter to John Lodge, July 1831, Felicia Hemans: Selected Poems, Letters, Reception Materials, ed. Susan J. Wolfson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 514.
(56) ‘To a Butterfly Near a Tomb’, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 30 (September 1831): p. 530.
(57) National Lyrics, and Songs for Music (Dublin: Curry, London: Simpkin & Marshall, 1834), pp. 324–7.
(58) See Angela Leighton’s Victorian Women Poets: Writing Against the Heart (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992); Derek Furr’s ‘Sentimental Confrontations: Hemans, Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett’, English Language Notes, 40. 2 (2002), pp. 29–47; Ryan’s ‘”Echo and Reply”’, and Labbe.
(59) Brunton cites Psyche canto 6, lines 247–52 for the epigraph of Chapter Five in Discipline (Edinburgh: Ramsay, 1814), p. 96.
(60) Susan Ferrier, The Inheritance, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Blackwood, London: Cadell, 1824), 3: pp. 116–17.
(61) Mary Leadbeater to Melesina Chenevix Trench, 1 June 1812; The Leadbeater Papers, 2 vols., 2nd edn. (London: Bell and Daldy, 1862), 2: p. 234.