Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period | Alexander Street
Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period

Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period

Coming in 2018: Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period will join Literature Online as standard content! For access, please click here to get more information and request a trial.

This electronic collection of over 60 volumes of lyric poetry by Scottish women, written between 1789 and 1832, endeavors to fill a gap in our knowledge of and access to this large and comprehensive body of work. Conventional anthologies and histories of Scottish literature have been composed largely of the works of male authors. Seldom have any but the most specialized 20th-century literary histories of the period paid serious attention to the dozens of Scottish women poets who were active at the time and whose work and influence were in many instances familiar and admired by their male contemporaries.

Recent scholarship has begun to return to women poets the authentic voices that inhabited their works when the poems were originally composed, published, and read. These voices are extraordinarily diverse and distinctive, and often contentious and oppositional. They represent women from every social, economic, political, and religious stratum, representing a tradition that ranges from conventional devout Calvinist moralism to rollicking bawdiness, from sentimental lyric verse to socially and politically committed poetry.

Any print anthology is, by necessity, highly selective. This electronic collection presents a large body of poetry, not mere editorial selections but entire volumes. Only in this coherent and accessible way can readers of all sorts (from the general reader to the middle school student to graduate and professional researchers) interact with the texts as aesthetic wholes, as their authors intended some two centuries ago.

Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period includes:

  • A critical introduction establishing the critical and historical context for the poetry in this archive.
  • A bibliographical introduction and a general bibliography.
  • A bibliographical essay about the primary and secondary texts and criticism pertaining to Scottish women poets in this period, including links to Web resources where available.
  • The works of approximately 50 poets, each with bio-bibliographical sketches or essays, including what is known about their lives, and a bibliography of their primary works and of criticism and reviews. Examples include Agnes Lyon, Carolina Oliphant, Catherine Ward, Dorothea Primrose Campbell, Frances Chadwick, Margaretta Wedderburn, and Jessie Stewart.
  • More than 60 works in full TEI-encoded SGML with related indexing.
  • Selected secondary critical essays and reviews by major scholars such as Catherine Burroughs, Stephen Behrendt, Kari Lokke, Dorothy MacMillan, Donna Landry, Bridget Keegan, and Adriana Craciun.
  • MARC records to facilitate access to the material, allowing users to move directly from the OPAC to the texts themselves.
  • Many extremely rare volumes that are held in very few libraries; most libraries will not have access to this material in any form.

Semantic indexing allows users to browse the authors, source works, individual poems, links to related web resource, or essays. Full text searches of words or phrases can be limited by fields such as year and place of birth or death; by the writer’s religion, nationality, and ethnicity; and by specifying an editor, publisher, or printer of the source work.

The collaborative goal of the project is to create a living database. We welcome contributions from organizations and individuals. Submitting materials to the editors is easy, right from the product home page itself.

Publication details

Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period is available on the Web, either through annual subscription or as a one-time purchase of perpetual rights. Libraries that purchase perpetual rights will also receive an archival copy of the data. The database has been carefully compiled and edited by Nancy Kushigian, English Literature Librarian at the University of California, Davis, and Stephen Behrendt, George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

Related titles are available now and cross-searchable in the Alexander Street Literature package.


Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period is recommended for larger libraries, both academic and public, supporting humanities research, and is another example of the positive collaborative efforts between librarians, scholars, and Alexander Street Press. Although the content may not have the broad appeal of some of the other ASP products, the quality of the data and the access it provides to this niche of English literature is invaluable.

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