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THE LIVES OF MICHAEL FIELD



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Sinopse

Essay from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Bayreuth, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Written and researched as part of a series of public presentations about feminist rewriting, the title of this paper is likely to raise questions about the relevance of a seemingly male author who was either reincarnated or who suffered from schizophrenia. The plural form lives and its appropriateness only becomes self-explanatory when a key feature about our subject is revealed: The playwright, poet and diarist discussed in this essay was in fact not a man, but the invention of two women. Michael Field was the shared pseudonym of Katharine Harris Bradley (1846-1914) and her niece Edith Emma Cooper (1862-1913), who lived together in Southern England for over forty years and collaborated in publishing 27 tragedies, 8 volumes of lyrics, and a masque. Moreover, they began co-writing a journal under the name of Michael Field in 1888, which they updated for the rest of their lives, eventually filling 28 volumes. These diaries are nowadays a valuable artefact of fin-de-siecle culture and society due to the detailed documentation of events and their public reception. They furthermore provide insight into the unconventional relationship these two women led, with its focus shifting from literary collaboration to one of romantic love.

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