'For the Improvement and Amusement of Young Ladies': Elizabeth Carter and the Bluestockings in Ireland

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Abstract

This essay takes as its focus a poetry miscellany printed in Waterford in 1772: Select Poems, designed for the improvement and amusement of young ladies. By Miss Carter and others. The collection is notable in a number of respects: it preceded the first Dublin edition of Carter’s poetry (1777); it offered a new, and unique, selection of her poetry; and it identified a specifically young female audience for her work. In the mid-eighteenth century, Carter’s translation of the works of Epictetus had made her famous in both Britain and Ireland, although her specific links with Ireland would become better known only in the late 1770s, with poems concerning the Dawson and Vesey families added to editions of her poetry after 1776. The Waterford collection is thus set in the context of the reception of the Bluestockings in Ireland in order to explore the phenomenon of the famously-learned lady as it was received and disseminated in eighteenth-century Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-60
Number of pages28
JournalEighteenth-Century Ireland
Volume2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019

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