The Whip Signature: Violence, Feminism, and Women Poets

Document Type

Book Chapter


English (Scripps)

Publication Date



American Literature | Literature in English, North America | Women's Studies


For the purposes of 're-thinking women's poetry from 1730 to 1930', I thought it might be useful to review some of those changes in American critical styles. Therefore, I would like to focus upon a set of issues that illustrates quite clearly how critical assumptions have changed, concluding with an example of one of my own favourites, the nineteenth-century American poet Rose Terry Cooke. I have used the figure of 'the whip signature' (variously interpreted for different contexts) to highlight the transformations in our approaches to pre-modern women poets.

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© 1999 Palgrave Macmillan

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