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The University of Southampton

Southampton Professor’s ground-breaking book honoured by the British Academy

Published: 28 August 2018
Emma Clery
Professor Emma Clery book was unanimously selected to receive the 2018 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize.

Emma Clery, Professor in English at the University of Southampton, has been awarded the prestigious Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy.

Professor Clery is recognised for her book Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis, published by Cambridge University Press (ISBN: 9781107189225). The book takes a striking episode in Romantic-era culture as the basis for exploring poetry as a medium of political protest.

The awarding committee unanimously selected Professor Clery’s work for the Prize, highlighting that “it breaks new ground in fashioning an entirely original argumentative and literary-historical narrative form” and is a “model of how transformational a feminist resistance to the commonplaces of ‘women’s history’ (the usual narrative of silencing) can be”.

Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis is a study of Romantic-era literature with strong resonance for the present day,” says Professor Clery. “It aims to show the way a literary work can engage with and shape political realities in the aftermath of economic shock.

“The revered woman of letters, Anna Letitia Barbauld, wrote a powerful verse prophecy that helped to change the course of the war against Napoleon,” she continues. “I explore the poem and the resulting controversy using techniques of narrative and reportage as well as critical analysis. I am thrilled and extremely honoured that the jury of the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize has judged the experiment a success.”

Established in 1888 by British philanthropist Rose Mary Crawshay, the Prize has been awarded by the British Academy annually since 1916 in recognition of the best work by a female scholar in the international field of English literature. Professor Clery joins Dame Hermione Lee and Dame Marina Warner on the long and illustrious list of winners.

The Prize will be awarded this year at a ceremony at the British Academy in central London on Tuesday 25 September.


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