Mary Blachford Tighe by Averill Buchanan
The Irish Psyche

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The Irish writer, Mary Blachford Tighe (1772 1810), is best known as author of the Spenserian epic Psyche; or, the Legend of Love, first printed privately in 1805. A year after her death, her literary reputation was firmly established when Longmans published Psyche, with Other Poems (1811), a collection that proved so popular that by 1816 it was in its fifth edition. Throughout the nineteenth century Tighe s popularity endured, but for much of the twentieth, Tighe, like many other women writers of the period, virtually disappeared from public view. Only since the 1970s, when feminist academics worldwide began the project to rehabilitate neglected women writers, has Tighe s work become accessible once again. As a result, Tighe has been enjoying something of a scholarly renaissance. Yet much of this renewed interest relies heavily on nineteenth-century accounts of Tighe s life and work, while her other unpublished work several dozen short poems, as well as her manuscript novel Selena remains neglected. Taking its title from William Hayley s reference to Tighe as the Psyche of Ireland , Mary Blachford Tighe: The Irish Psyche brings together previously overlooked archive material and makes extensive use of important new material to reconstruct Tighe s life and review the entire corpus of her work in the context in which it was written. By piecing together evidence from family memoirs, correspondence, other contemporary accounts, and crucially, Tighe s own manuscripts, the writer is restored to her historical and literary context, thereby facilitating new understandings of her work.

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Published December 1, 2011 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 255 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction