Rural life in English poetry of the mid-eighteenth century

Goodridge, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-1765-7215, 1990. Rural life in English poetry of the mid-eighteenth century. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis examines several mid-eighteenth century poems, assessing their portrayal of rural life, its literary and historical significance, and the aesthetic and ideological issues it presents. An introductory essay on developments in rural poetry sets the scene for two extended essays. The first essay is a comparative reading of the subject of rural labour in three poems: James Thomson’s The Seasons (1726-44), Stephen Duck’s The Thresher’s Labour (1730, 1736) and Mary Collier’s The Woman’s Labour (1739). The viewpoints of a professional poet (Thomson), a farm labourer (Duck), and a working woman (Collier) are compared in relation to kinds of work all three address as well as to individual labouring subjects. The responses of the three poets to such related issues as folk traditions, forms of charity and other ‘compensations’, are also compared. Some surprising similarities as well as instructive differences are located; and an interesting picture of idealistic and realistic, male-oriented and female-oriented attitudes to labour and labour-related themes emerges.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Goodridge, J.
Date: 1990
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:35
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:07

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