Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing

Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing. Mrs. Gower, People, Disabilities.
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing
A young poet embraces her literary authority and as a deaf person asserts the importance of representation
Poems on Various Subjects; by A Young Lady who Through Accident was Entirely Deprived of her Hearing

Margate: Printed and sold by G. Witherden... [1819]. First edition. Early 20th century black textured cloth with five raised bands to spine. Bookplate of J. O. Edwards to front pastedown. Contemporary ownership signature of A. Van Zwanenberg to front endpaper. A pencil notation on the inner header of the title page reads "Poems of Mrs. Gower" in a contemporary hand. A bit of light scattered foxing throughout, largely concentrated in the preliminary and terminal leaves. Measuring 205 x 130mm. Collating 119, [1]: complete, with an additional 4 page pamphlet tipped in between pages 118 and 119. An exceptionally scarce gathering of poetry by a deaf woman writer, OCLC locates only two copies at institutions, neither in North America. The present is the only copy on the market.

While the name of the author remains a mystery, her own preface reveals that the present is not her only work of poetry. Calling on the "flattering reception given to the Lines from the Pen of a Young Lady" which she published six months prior, she positions her work as filling a key literary gap. Not only does she release the present volume at her friends' request; even more importantly, she suggests that her second volume is important for the representation it provides. She asserts that her own position as a deaf person aids her in depicting "Scenes, Subjects, and Ideas not frequently portrayed or discussed, but which peculiar circumstances have elicited in the mind of the Writer, and induced her to dwell upon with singular interest." Verses such as The Days of My Youth, On a Fine Spring Morning, and The Sea paint triumphant and powerful verbal images on the page as the poet captures her nuanced experiences linked to sight and touch. Work like On Reading Cowper's Poems position her as a confident specialist and critic in her own field, unafraid of sharing thoughts on the creations of a more famous writer. And in Lines Written While Under the Care of a Celebrated Aurist, she most overtly addresses her relationship to silence, hearing, and people with hearing. In this longer poem, she calls herself Mary by name -- unique in this volume -- suggests that much of the angst surrounding her deafness emerges not from herself but from scriptural teachings, her family, and her friends' expectations. These communities with whom she still finds love and support shape much of her work. Inserted toward the end is an undated pamphlet unrecorded by OCLC, presumably written by the same poet on the death of her reverend.

Jackson 387. Not in Johnson.
(Item #4276)

Price: $2,250

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