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Letitia Elizabeth Landon and Metrical Romance

The Adventures of a ‘Literary Genius’

Serena Baiesi

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802-1838) was one of the leading women poets of the second generation of English Romantic writers. Following her predecessor Walter Scott and her contemporary Lord Byron, she was a fluent practitioner and essential innovator of the metrical romance and exerted a strong influence on the work of Victorian poets (especially Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning and Christina Rossetti). This book analyses Landon’s poetics, with particular reference to the close relationship between the narrative poem as literary genre and its gender implications.
Landon was both an eclectic writer and a literary businesswoman: she was an extremely effective promoter of her literary work in order to support her independent life in London. Furthermore she was the editor of several annuals and gift-books, wrote for magazines, and published numerous poems, novels, and editorials. Her active life and mysterious and premature death in Africa attracted the curiosity of many biographers during the twentieth century, but only in recent times has critical attention been paid to her rich literary output. This volume aims to discuss and analyse the work of a talented artist whose metrical romance strongly influenced the poetics of late Romanticism, and prefigured a highly successful genre widely adopted during the Victorian age: the dramatic monologue.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Letitia Elizabeth Landon: editions consulted The Poetical Works of Miss Landon, Philadelphia: E.L. Carey and A. Hart, 1838. The Complete Works of L. E. Landon, Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and co., 1860. The Poetical Works of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, (L.E.L.), ed. W.B. Scott, London: G. Routledge and Sons, 1873. The Poetical Works of Mary Howitt, Eliza Cook, and L.E.L., ed. Mary Howitt, 2 vols, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1854. The Venetian Bracelet, The Lost Pleiad, A History of the Lyre, and other Poems, Boston: Cottone and Barnard, 1830. The Fate of Adelaide, a Swiss Romantic Tale, and Other Poems, ed. F.J. Sypher, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1990. The Improvisatrice, London: Hurst, Robinson and Co., 1825. The Improvisatrice; and Other Poems by L.E.L., Boston: Munroe and Francis, 1825. The Improvisatrice, 1825, Poole: Woodstock Book, 1996. The Improvisatrice, ed. Jonathan Wordsworth, Poole: Woodstock, 1996. Selected Writings, eds Jerome McGann and Daniel Riess, Peterborough: Broadview, 1997. Letters, ed. F.J. Sypher, Ann Arbor: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 2001. 178 Works by other authors Austen, Jane, Emma, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. —, Northanger Abbey, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Barrett Browning, Elizabeth, Aurora Leigh and Other Poems, Lon- don: The Women’s Press, 1978. —, Poems, New York: James Miller, 1862. Betham, Matilda, A Biographical Dictionary of the Celebrated Women of Every Age and Country, London: B. Crosby, 1804. Burke, Edmund, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, ed. Adam Phillips, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990....

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