Life Study in and beyond Mary Peach Collier’s Poetic Effusions

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

December 2018

Publication Title

Teaching Laboring-Class British Literature of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries


Introducing students to laboring-class authors may consist of providing a number of one-off encounters with a range (whether narrow or broad) of such authors. Building laboring-class literature into a curriculum, however, involves a good deal more work: identifying texts suited to introducing the author, identifying texts suited to more advanced engagement, and devising activities that move students from a basic understanding of the author and her work toward increasingly independent projects wherein students discover the author's life and the interplay among her life, her work, and her community. In my essay, I describe a spiraled approach for incorporating a single poet, the former domestic servant Mary Peach Collier, into a sequence of courses--from undergraduate surveys, through mid-level period courses, to research-based study.

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