During the last quarter century, interest in Ann Yearsley has developed markedly. Increasingly she is to be found on university courses and module reading lists, and in anthologies of both labouring-class poetry and eighteenth-century poetry. Yet despite a significant presence in important revisionist works such as the English Labouring-Class Poets series (Pickering and Chatto, 2003), only a fraction of Yearsley’s poetry has been reprinted since the eighteenth century. Apart from the enormous range of styles and modes represented in the three volumes published in 1785, 1787 and 1796, Yearsley also wrote a large number of occasional poems, some of them sent to her close friends in her correspondence; these have never been collected together. As the editors of anthologies have begun to acknowledge during the last five years or so, Yearsley was a woman whose poems demonstrate considerable daring, ranging from profound philosophical meditations and righteous political anger to light, humorous examinations of family life. However, the selective anthologising of Yearsley’s poems has not facilitated a wider understanding of the contexts and artistic considerations which underpin her work. There is a need, therefore, for an authoritative and wide-ranging edition of Yearsley’s poetry, which brings together the many familiar or occasional poems, and places them alongside the published volumes, allowing the full scope of Yearsley’s poetic talents to be appreciated for the first time.
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Pickering and Chatton|
|Number of pages||1008|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2014|