Collected Letters of Mary Blachford Tighe

Found while looking for something completely different: The Collected Letters of Mary Blachford Tighe, in an annotated edition edited by Harriet Kramer Linkin (Lehigh University Press).

The Books.google preview allows viewing of not only frontismatter, but also some of the letters! It is pricey (retails for $140 hardcover), so you may wish to take a long look before purchase. The book came out in August 2020.

The TIGHE name will be familiar to those who follow the Ladies of Llangollen. Strolling through the list of the 166 letters featured in the book, you will see letters to or from Sarah (Fownes) Tighe and Caroline (Tighe) Hamilton – very recognizable names from the HAMWOOD PAPERS of the Ladies of Llangollen and Caroline Hamilton.

[check out the Amazon Kindle preview for the first thirty letters in the table of contents]

From the publisher, about the book:

This annotated edition provides a revelatory glimpse into the life and mind of Ireland’s premier Romantic-era woman poet, Mary Blachford Tighe (1772-1810), author of PsycheVerses, and Selena. Although Tighe’s family burned most of her personal papers, 166 letters by and to her survived the flames, and are printed here for the first time. They offer rich insights into her thoughts and feelings about her writing, marriage, friendships, family, anxieties, aspirations, spirituality, politics, travels, and day-to-day activities, with beauty, poignance and wit. The letters written between 1786 and 1801 reveal stunning details about her complex relationship with her voyeuristic husband, about the years she spent in England developing her craft as a writer and acquiring her reputation as a much-admired beauty, and about the lived realities that ground the proto-feminist aesthetics of Psyche, the lyrics in Verses, and the narratives in Selena. The letters from 1802 through 1809 contain exceptional information about her reading habits and scholarly studies, resistance to publication, and friendships with other writers. The Collected Letters of Mary Blachford Tighe presents a rich archive of material that open up significant avenues for scholarship on Tighe: they document how actively she participated in her culture, shed autobiographical light on some of the least-known periods in her life, and illuminate her development as a poet and novelist.

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