Primarily a literary history, Women, Modernism and British Poetry, 1910-1939 provides a timely discussion of individual women poets who have become, or are becoming, well-known as their works are reprinted but about whom little has yet been written. This volume recognizes the contributions, overlooked previously, of such British poets as Anna Wickham, Nancy Cunard, Edith Sitwell, Mina Loy, Charlotte Mew, May Sinclair, Vita Sackville-West and Sylvia Townsend Warner; and the impact of such American poets as H.D., Amy Lowell, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore and Laura Riding on literary practice in Britain. This book primarily maps the poetry scene in Britain but identifies the significance of the network of writers between London, New York and Paris. It assesses women's participation in the diversity of modernist developments which include avant-garde experiments, quiet, but subtly challenging, formalism and assertive 'new woman' voices. It not only chronicles women's poetry but also their publications and involvement in running presses, bookshops and writing criticism. Although historically situated, it is written from the perspective of contemporary debates concerning the interface of gender and modernism. The author argues that a cohering aesthetic of the poetry is a denial of femininity through various evasions of gendered identity such as masking, male and female impersonations and the rupturing of realist modes.
'The publication of Jane Dowson's brilliant and ground-breaking book Women, Modernism and British Poetry, 1910-1939 is a major literary event, marking the twenty-first century's rethinking of the literary and cultural work of twentieth-century women poets. Dazzling in its scholarship, Jane Dowson's book remaps the territory of Pound, Yeats and Eliot, introducing a new generation of readers to the delights of the other great modernist poets of the period: Nancy Cunard, Iris Tree, Helen Rootham, Edith Sitwell, Amy Lowell, Mina Loy, Laura Riding, Anna Wickham, and many other "lost" women poets. The new map of poetic modernism drawn by Jane Dowson gives readers a whole new world of modernist masterpieces. It is a triumph!' Jane Marcus, Distinguished Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center and the City College of New York. 'Ultimately, the comprehensive approach of Dowson's book makes it an invaluable reference for readers who wish to expand their knowledge of women writers who were important public figures in the early twentieth century, but whose work has been forgotten, neglected or ignored.' Virginia Woolf Bulletin 'Such a study has long been needed, and it does an admirable job of mapping out the women poets of the period, revealing their connections without oversimplifying them.' Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature