The first book to look at poets' letters seriously as an art form. It offers 15 enlightening chapters by leading international biographers, critics and poets examine letter writing among poets in the last two hundred years. They range from Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley in the 19th century to Eliot, Yeats, Bishop and Larkin in the 20th. In doing so, they respond to the following questions. Who are the great letter writers of the past? Why is reading other people's mail so addictive? What is the relationship between letter writing and other literary genres such as poetry? Divided into three sections - Contexts and Issues, Romantic and Victorian Letter Writing, and Twentieth Century Letter Writing - the volume demonstrates that real letters still have an allure that virtual post struggles to replicate. It offers a comprehensive collection of essays on the art and genre of letter writing among Romantic, Victorian and Twentieth Century poets. It's contributors are leading international biographers, critics and poets, including Hermione Lee, Paul Muldoon, Daniel Karlin, Hugh Haughton, Anne Fadiman, Edna Longley and Angela Leighton.
It is an absorbing history of literary friendship, love, and rivalry. It is a sensitive study of the often close relationship between letter writing and poetry.