Dickinson in Context: Nineteenth-Century American Women Poets

Document Type

Book Chapter


English (Scripps)

Publication Date



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


In this essay I will remind readers of the arguments that made the feminist intervention important in the first place. Dickinson had usually been compared to male poets— Emerson, Whitman, Hopkins, Tennyson, Hardy, Frost, Stevens, etc.—but, as I will indicate, feminists were neither the first nor the only critics to consider Dickinson in the context of other women poets. After a brief summary of this history, I will suggest that, even within feminism, views concerning the importance of Dickinson’s gender, as it impacts our understanding of her relation to other women poets, have changed over the past several decades, perhaps as our views of gender have changed.

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© 2004 Oxford University Press

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