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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2021
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Book description

This is the first ever complete critical edition of the writings of Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661–1720), including work printed in her lifetime and material left in manuscript form at her death. Textual analysis, based on print and manuscript copies in repositories across the United Kingdom and the United States, reveals her revision processes and uses of manuscript and print. Extensive commentary clarifies her techniques, sources, contexts, and diction. A detailed essay traces the history of her works' reception and transmission. The result is a complete view of her achievements that will promote more accurate assessments of her contributions to literary and cultural shifts, including perspectives on literary value, women's equality, religion, and affairs of state. This first volume provides established texts of Finch's early manuscript books, including Poems on Several Subjects and Miscellany Poems with Two Plays written under her pen name, Ardelia.


Honorable Mention, 2021 Richard J. Finneran Award, Society for Textual Scholarship


‘With remarkable success and rigor, Jennifer Keith’s and Claudia Kairoff’s first volume of the Works of Anne Finch investigates and analyzes complex sets of evidence and revisions in manuscript and in print, providing an extensive scholarly apparatus and historical notes on the conditions of production, not just of Finch’s own writing but of its reception and publication. Rivaling the best examples of traditional critical editions, the Works of Anne Finch offers fresh approaches to questions of variants and emendations while supplying a clean, readable text of Finch’s extensive literary production.’

Source: Citation, Society for Textual Scholarship

‘… a major event in English literary studies … The literary world is fortunate that Finch’s complicated canon met its match in the editorial skills and intellectual commitment of Jennifer Keith and the team of talented experts she assembled … Anne Finch’s poetry is the expression of her heart, the expression of an age, and the expression of the general human condition. In other words, she is a major poet whose works are finally accorded in this edition the establishment of texts and contexts needed for literary history to begin to acknowledge that fact.’

Elizabeth Kraft Source: The Scriblerian

‘Henceforth, no scholar of Anne Finch’s poetry can write about her oeuvre without studying these two volumes.’

Ellen Moody Source: The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer

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