‘I look everywhere for grandmothers and see none’

  • Elizabeth Barrett


England has had many learned women, not merely readers but writers of the learned languages, in Elizabeth’s time and afterwards — women of deeper acquirements than are common now in the greater diffusion of letters: and yet where were the poetesses? The divine breath which seemed to come and go, and, ere it went, filled the land with that crowd of true poets whom we call the old dramatists — why did it never pass, even in the lyrical form, over the lips of a woman? How strange! And can we deny that it was so? I look everywhere for grandmothers and see none. It is not in the filial spirit I am deficient, I do assure you — witness my reverent love of the grandfathers!

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Elizabeth Barrett

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