Fugitive Verses

Hale, "'[S]hak[ing] the dwellings of the great': Liberation in Joanna Baillie's Poems (1790)"

Hale examines Baillie's anonymously published collection Poems (1790) in the context of the British reaction to the French Revolution, Baillie's political ideology as expressed in her letters, and the poetic climate of the second half of the eighteenth century. Through a close reading of the poems he argues that even though some of the poems depict some ambivalence about the eighteenth-century class system, the early Baillie ultimately critiques that system and subtly encourages rural workers to resist its stifling roles. Hale recovers Baillie as a valuable romantic poet and invites scholars to consider her poetry as they flesh out her status as an important dramatist and literary theorist.

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