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Elizabeth Jennings 'The Inward War'

Elizabeth Jennings 'The Inward War'

ISBN 9780198820840
Publication Date
Publisher Oxford University Press
Author(s)
Overview
Elizabeth Jennings was one of the most popular, prolific, and widely anthologized lyric poets in the second half of the twentieth century. This first biography, based on extensive archival research and interviews with Jennings's contemporaries, integrates her life and work and explores the 'inward war' the poet experienced as a result of her gender, religion, and mental fragility. Originally associated with the Movement, Jennings was sui generis, believing poetry was 'communication' and 'communion.' She wrote of nature, friendship, childhood, religion, love, and art, endearing her to a wide audience. Yet lifelong depression, unbearable loneliness, unrelenting fears, poverty, and physical illness plagued her. This fascinating volume explores themes of mental illness, the importance of place, the problems associated with being an unmarried woman artist, her relationship with literary mentors and younger poets, her non-feminist feminism, and her marginality and sympathy for the outcast.

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