Felicia Hemans Criticism - Essay

The Dublin Review (essay date 1836)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Life and Writings of Mrs. Hemans," in The Dublin Review, Vol. 2, No. 3, December, 1836, pp. 245–75.

[In the following excerpt, the author reviews Hemans's writings in the context of the then just-published Memorials collected by Henry Chorley, which the reviewer rejects as too trivializing of Hemans as a poet.]

It is to the causes to which we have here adverted, rather, perhaps, than to any special inclination in the genius of the writers themselves, that we must attribute the particular form under which the great body of our recent poetry has appeared. In the absence of that encouragement, which gave birth to poetical ventures of greater length,...

(The entire section is 11156 words.)

Tricia Lootens (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Hemans and Home: Victorianism, Feminine 'Internal Enemies,' and the Domestication of National Identity," in PMLA, Vol. 109, No. 2, March, 1994, pp. 238–53.

[In the essay below, Lootens investigates the patriotism in Hemans's verse and, through this, the contradictions and complexities that underlay Victorian ideology.]

If any phrase still evokes Victorianism as conceived early in this century, surely the first line of Felicia Hemans's "Casabianca" does. "The boy stood on the burning deck" conjures up a familiar vision of unconscious ironies and lost innocence. Calling to mind drawing rooms where parents comfortably weep to the recitation of earnest or sullen...

(The entire section is 9865 words.)

Susan J. Wolfson (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "'Domestic Affections' and 'the spear of Minerva': Felicia Hemans and the Dilemma of Gender," in Re-Visioning Romanticism: British Women Writers, 1776–1837, edited by Carol Shiner Wilson and Joel Haefner, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, pp. 128–66.

[In the following essay, Wolfson contends that contradictions in Hemans's poetry stemmed from the fundamental conflict between the ideals of her versedomestic serenity and feminine status quoand the facts of her life, which required her to carry out the more traditionally masculine work of supporting her family and building a public reputation.]

I. Discriminations of Gender...

(The entire section is 15867 words.)

Anthony John Harding (essay date 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Felicia Hemans and the Effacement of Women," in Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices, edited by Paula R. Feldman and Theresa M. Kelley, University Press of New England, 1995, pp. 138-49.

[In the following essay, Harding traces a strain of violence and melancholy through several of Hemans's works; he concludes that this element suggests her "recognition that women's reality is an imposed reality. "]

The sentiments are so affectionate and innocentthe characters of the subordinate agents … are clothed in the light of such a mild and gentle mindthe pictures of domestic manners are of the most simple and...

(The entire section is 5682 words.)