Mary Robinson: Selected Poems
  • Publication Date: October 29, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551112015 / 1551112019
  • 444 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Mary Robinson: Selected Poems

  • Publication Date: October 29, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551112015 / 1551112019
  • 444 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Mary Robinson’s work has begun again to assume a central place in discussions of Romanticism. A writer of the 1790’s—a decade which saw the birth of Romanticism, revolution, and enormous popular engagement with political ideas—Robinson was acknowledged in her time as a leading poet. Her writing exhibits great variety: charm, theatricality, and emotional resonance are all characteristics Robinson displays. She was by turns a poet of sensibility, a poet of popular culture, a chronicler of the major events of the time, and a participant in some of its chief aesthetic innovations. This long-awaited collection is the first critical edition of her poems.


“Mary Robinson was one of the most significant authors of the Romantic era; her poetic vision is in many ways a counterpoint to that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. At last, this expertly edited, well researched and affordable edition makes Robinson’s innovative and influential poetry accessible again to a wide audience. It is a superb selection which gives a fully rounded view of Robinson’s poetic production.” — Paula Feldman, University of South Carolina

“This rich and varied selection of poems, letters and reviews, centered and guided by Judith Pascoe’s rich and sympathetic scholarship, amply illustrates why Mary Robinson is so crucial a figure for understanding the development of English verse between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With its range and inclusiveness, its authentic artistic claims, and its scholarly weight, Mary Robinson: Selected Poems is an edition to be universally celebrated as repaying a long overdue debt, and with generous interest. Even in Broadview’s exemplary list of recovered literature, it is a standout, a truly major accomplishment.” — Stuart Curran, University of Pennsylvania

A Note on the Texts and Illustrations
List of Illustrations
Mary Darby Robinson: A Brief Chronology

From Poems (1775)

  • A Pastoral Elegy
    The Linnet’s Petition
    Letter to a Friend on Leaving Town

From Poems (1791)

  • Ode to the Muse
    Ode to Melancholy
    Ode to the Nightingale
    Ode to Delia Crusca
    Lines to Him Who Will Understand Them
    Lines Inscribed to P. De Loutherbourg, Esq. R.A.
    The Adieu to Love
    Stanzas to Flora
    Oberon to the Queen of the Fairies
    Sonnet. Written Among the Ruins of an Ancient Castle in
    Germany, In the Year 1786
    Ainsi va le Monde

From Poems (1793)

  • Sight
    The Maniac
    A Fragment, Supposed to be Written Near the Temple, at Paris, on the Night Before the Execution of Louis XVI
    Stanzas. Written After Successive Nights of Melancholy Dreams
    Stanzas. Written Between Dover and Calais, in July, 1792
    Marie Antoinette’s Lamentation, in Her Prison of the Temple
    Ode to Rapture
    Stanzas to a Friend,Who Desired to Have My Portrait

Sappho and Phaon (1796)

  • Preface
    To the Reader
    Account of Sappho
    Sappho and Phaon
    Sonnet Introductory
    Sonnet II
    Sonnet III
    Sonnet IV
    Sonnet V
    Sonnet VI
    Sonnet VII
    Sonnet IX
    Sonnet X
    Sonnet XI
    Sonnet XII
    Sonnet XIII
    Sonnet XIV
    Sonnet XV
    Sonnet XVI
    Sonnet XVII
    Sonnet XVIII
    Sonnet XIX
    Sonnet XX
    Sonnet XXI
    Sonnet XXII
    Sonnet XXIII
    Sonnet XXIV
    Sonnet XXV
    Sonnet XXVI
    Sonnet XXVII
    Sonnet XXVIII
    Sonnet XXIX
    Sonnet XXX
    Sonnet XXXI
    Sonnet XXXII
    Sonnet XXXIII
    Sonnet XXXIV
    Sonnet XXXV
    Sonnet XXXVI
    Sonnet XXXVII
    Sonnet XXXVIII
    Sonnet XXXIX
    Sonnet XL
    Sonnet XLI
    Sonnet XLII
    Sonnet XLIII
    Sonnet XLIV. Conclusive

Lyrical Tales (1800)

  • All Alone
    The Mistletoe, a Christmas Tale
    The Poor, Singing Dame
    Mistress Gurton’s Cat, a Domestic Tale
    The Lascar. In Two Parts
    The Widow’s Home
    The Shepherd’s Dog
    The Fugitive
    The Haunted Beach
    Old Barnard, a Monkish Tale
    The Hermit of Mont-Blanc
    Deborah’s Parrot, a Village Tale
    The Negro Girl
    The Trumpeter, an Old English Tale
    The Deserted Cottage
    The Fortune-Teller, a Gypsy Tale
    Poor Marguerite
    The Confessor, a Sanctified Tale
    Edmund s Wedding
    The Alien Boy
    The Granny Grey, a Love Tale
    Golfre, a Gothic Swiss Tale

Uncollected poems from newspapers and magazines:

  • To Sir Joshua Reynolds
    Sonnet to Mrs. Charlotte Smith, on Hearing That Her Son Was Wounded at the Siege of Dunkirk
    All For-Lorn
    The Camp
    Great and Small!

Poems that were incorporated into The Progress of Liberty

  • The Birth-Day of Liberty
    The Progress of Liberty
    The Horrors of Anarchy
    The Vestal
    The Monk
    The Dungeon
    The Cell of the Atheist
    The African
    The Italian Peasantry
    Harvest Home

From The Poetical Works (1806)

  • Ode to the Snow-drop
    Ode Inscribed to the Infant Son of S.T. Coleridge, Esq.
    To the Poet Coleridge
    The Savage of Aveyron
    The Birth-Day
    The Summer Day
    The Wintry Day
    On Leaving the Country for the Winter Season, 1799
    Oberon’s Invitation to Titania
    Titania’s Answer to Oberon
    London’s Summer Morning
    The Poet’s Garret
    January, 1795
    Impromptu Sent to a Friend Who Had Left His Gloves, by Mistake, at the Author’s House on the Preceding Evening
    Modern Male Fashions
    Modern Female Fashions

Appendix A: Three letters of Mary Robinson

  • To John Taylor, 5 October 1794
    To William Godwin, 24 August 1800
    To Jane Porter, 27 August 1800

Appendix B: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poems in response to Robinson

  • The Apotheosis, or the Snow-Drop
    Alcaeus to Sappho
    A Stranger Minstrel

Appendix C: Reviews of Robinson’s poetry

  • Review of Poems (1791) in the Critical Review
    Review of Sappho and Phaon (1796) in the English Review
    Review of Lyrical Tales (1800) in the Monthly Review
    Review of The Poetical Works of the Late Mrs. Mary Robinson (1806) in the Annual Review

Appendix D: Publication histories of Robinson’s poems

List of changes
Index of first lines
Index of titles

Judith Pascoe has written widely on eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature; her book Romantic Theatricality: Gender, Poetry, and Spectatorship was published by Cornell University Press. She teaches English at The University of Iowa.