Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Tim Whelan

Committee Member 1

Julia Griffin

Committee Member 2

Candy Schille

Abstract

Published anonymously in 1779 Danebury, or the Power of Friendship, a Tale with Two Odes, has retained its anonymity for over two centuries. Evidence found in the Reeves and Steele Collections housed at Angus Library; Regents Park College, Oxford identifies the author as Mary Steele, a provincial young woman with a Nonconformist background who was an active participant in a literary coterie that included other published authors such as Mary Scott, Anne Steele, and Hannah More. Drawing upon the work of Marjorie Reeves as well as the original manuscripts contained in the Reeves and Steele collections, this thesis provides the first in depth discussion of Mary Steeles published work and the role her literary circle of friends and acquaintances and her Nonconformist background played in shaping her poetry.

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