Женская поэзия

Брэдли Катарина (Katherine Harris Bradley)

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"Michael Field"
Katharine Harris Bradley (1864-1914)
Edith Emma Cooper (1862-1913)

Michael Field is the best known of the pen names used by an aunt and a niece in a literary partnership that spanned several decades. Katharine Bradley's father was a tobacco manufacturer; she was educated at home and at Newnham College, the newly-founded women's college at Cambridge. She shared an interest in classical language and literature with her niece Edith Cooper, whom she helped raise, attended lectures with, and who apparently became her lover in the 1870s.

Bradley and Cooper lived and wrote together, believing themselves "closer married" than the Brownings had been, because they collaborated artistically. Their choice of pseudonym was influenced by their desire to disguise their sex; they expressed to Robert Browning their belief that the world would not tolerate what they had to say "from a woman's lips." Together they wrote much poetry and drama, using their private income to subsidize the publication of their works in beautifully-produced limited editions. They also collaborated on a vast, mostly unpublished, diary which records the details of their life and works. They converted to Catholicism in 1907 and both died of cancer.

More about and by Michael Field

* "Maids, not to you my mind doth change"
From Long Ago (1889).
This, Field's first volume, was a self-describedly "audacious" attempt to write lyric poems around the extant fragments of the Greek lyricist Sappho. Sappho's poems (all but one of which survive only in fragments) had, in a recent translated by Henry Wharton, appeared for the first time in English with the gender of the beloved correctly rendered as female.
* "My Darling"
* "Cyclamens"
First published 1893 in Underneath the Bough, A Book of Verses

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