Famous Poets and Poems:  Home  |  Poets  |  Poem of the Month  |  Poet of the Month  |  Top 50 Poems  |  Famous Quotes  |  Famous Love Poems

Back to main page Search for:


FamousPoetsAndPoems.com / Poets / Lady Mary Chudleigh / Biography
Biography
Poems
Books
Popular Poets
Langston Hughes

Shel Silverstein

Pablo Neruda

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Emily Dickinson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

E. E. Cummings

Walt Whitman

William Wordsworth

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Jack Prelutsky

William Butler Yeats

Thomas Hardy

Robert Hayden

Amy Lowell

Oscar Wilde

Theodore Roethke

All Poets  

See also:

Love Poems and Quotes

Poets by Nationality

African American Poets

Women Poets

Thematic Poems

Thematic Quotes

Contemporary Poets

Nobel Prize Poets

American Poets

English Poets

Lady Mary Chudleigh Biography
Back to Poet Page
A devoted Anglican, Chudleigh was self-educated in religious, scientific, and philosophical works. A fan of, probably acquainted with, contemporary Mary Astell, Chudleigh acknowledged her intellectual debt to Astell. Both women, along with Elizabeth Thomas, "Cleanthe", "Clorissa," "Lucinda," and "Eugenia", formed part of the literary circle centered around Dryden. Unlike Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle just 2 generations earlier, Lady Chudleigh did have a network of supportive feminist female friends.

We know nothing of her relationship with her husband: both her published and unpublished writing on that aspect of her personal life remain silent on that issue. Some authors contend that hers was an unhappy marriage. Yet, whether her husband was a model for the misogynist country boor, Sir John Brute in The Ladies' defence, or the lover who has the sense to prize wit in a woman with a beauteous mind, we do not know. We do know that he permitted her to both write and publish 3 feminist works during his lifetime and permitted them to be reprinted after her death.

Although she did not begin publishing any works until 10 years before her death, they were reprinted 4 times before she died. Her poems were quoted in various anthologies throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, indeed, until our own time and her name continued to appear without qualification in biographical dictionaries of important poets throughout the intervening years. Through exploring human reactions many of her poems had appeal to both men and women. Yet, her feminist poems continued to be reprinted, too.

Her best remembered feminist work, The Ladies Defence: or the Bride-Woman's Counsellor answered: A Poem. In a Dialogue Between Sir John Brute, Sir William Loveall, Melissa, and a Parson (1701, verse), is a response to a wedding sermon given by John Sprint in 1699 in which he advocated woman's total subjection to her husband. (Eugenia and Elizabeth Thomas also responded to this sermon.) She explored a number of themes that still resonate with feminists: "the negative attitudes of males and their demeaning expectations of women; the role of the church in propagating pernicious ideas about women, couched as protection of public morals; the duties of a wife to be silent, abjectly obedient, and tolerant of physical and psychological abuse; and the conventional dismissal of female education." Deeply untrusting of men and fully aware of the unequal and unfair power structure in the family, Chudleigh believed that only single women could freely persue intellectual interests.

Her three feminist works, The Ladies' Defence, Poems on Several Occasions (1703), which celebrates the friendships women have with one another, and Essays upon Several Subjects (1710) have been reprinted by Oxford University Press.
View Lady Mary Chudleigh:  Poems | Biography | Books

Home   |   About Project   |   Privacy Policy   |   Copyright Notice   |   Links   |   Link to Us   |   Tell a Friend   |   Contact Us
Copyright © 2006 - 2010 Famous Poets And Poems . com. All Rights Reserved.
The Poems and Quotes on this site are the property of their respective authors. All information has been
reproduced here for educational and informational purposes.