The literary era often referenced as the Romantic period, was a central part of the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century movement that was centered in Europe. This movement was highlighted by artists, writers and intellects and their reactions to the Industrial Revolution. During this counter-movement of sorts, women began to rise up and be heard. Though they had not previously received the kind of recognition that their male counterparts enjoyed, women’s voices emerged through poetry.

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As women became more active, several emerged as vanguards during this period, including Felicia Hemans, Anna Laeticia Barbauld, and Mary Wollstonecraft (”A Celebration of Woman Writers”). During this era these women could be described as espousing feminist viewpoints, or at least articulating what women previously did not. Their works addressed women’s rights, social order and the stereotyping of women. They challenged the marriage construct, the concept of war, and the notions of valor and patriotism, all in keeping with the movement’s push back against the status quo and the so called Age of Enlightenment. (“Celebration”).

In some of the works, female characters elected to take their own lives in lieu of continuing to bear the consequences of their political, social, and personal situations. This comports with the fact that women writers typically had to choose between their role at home and their potential for literary freedom and success (“Mary Wollstonecraft”).

Women suppressed by marriage or a lack of education commensurate with their male counterparts also reflected the rise of vocal female consciousness emerging at the time. Female writers of the times frequently challenged the political, economic, and social standing of women during the ironically named, “Romantic Period.”

Works Cited

  • A Celebration of Women Writers (nd). Web. 6 June 2015.

  • Mary Wollencraft, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (nd). Web 6 June 2015