Dualisms and balances of power: contextualizing the poems of Elizabeth Siddal
Existing studies of Elizabeth Siddal are largely biographical and this has coloured the presently limited analysis of her poetry, and to a lesser extent, her art. Where poetic and artistic commentary has been published, it tends to be used as a means of exploring her persona, her work merely forming an illustrative adjunct to a faintly scandalous narrative. This dissertation separates Siddal’s verse from her physical presence and considers it in the contemporary critical context of the ongoing retrieval and re-evaluation of nineteenth- century women’s poetry. More significantly, it considers the texts of her work alongside those of four male poets and one critic who were either personally known to her or were a source of influence or inspiration.
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