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Selected Poems

Anne Finch

Edited by Denys Thompson

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
RRP: GBP 7.95
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Price: GBP 7.16
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ISBN: 978 1 857547 20 7
Categories: 17th Century, 18th Century, Women
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: August 2003
214 x 135 x 7 mm
90 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Give me yet before I die
    A sweet, yet absolute retreat,
    'Mongst paths so lost and trees so high
    That the world may ne'er invade
    Through such windings and such shade
    My unshaken liberty.
        from 'The Petition for an Absolute Retreat'

    Anne Finch (1661-1720) is one of the earliest English women poets of importance, a friend of Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift and of Henry Purcell, who set one of her poems to music. A modest and retiring writer during her lifetime, constrained both by her own temperament and by her situation as a woman, she was later admired by Wordsworth and Matthew Arnold, but then again neglected. She is now being revalued as a poet whose skilful and perceptive writing sets her apart from the conventions within which she lived and worked. She celebrates the quiet pleasures of a happy marriage, country life and friendships, the qualities of a life lived, in her own words, with 'Something less than joy, but more than full content'.

    This selection from the full range of her work includes explanatory notes and suggestions for further reading.
    Anne Finch
    Anne Finch was born in 1661 in Hampshire, the second daughter of Sir William Kingsmill. In 1683 she was appointed maid of honour to Mary of Modena, the wife of the future King James II. In 1684 she married Colonel Heneage Finch, a member of the royal household and later MP ... read more
    Denys Thompson
    ... read more
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