Author Biography

Ruth Knezevich is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In addition to completing her own research on the footnote in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women's poetry, she is also assisting on a project recovering the works of Anna Maria and Jane Porter in the context of literary circles and globalism.


Throughout the eighteenth century, the genre of women’s poetry heavily annotated with editorializing commentary (a genre I term “scholarly verse”) became increasingly prevalent. Such poetry presents an ironic reversal of conventions of gender and authority by incorporating the literal margins of the page: the female voice commands the majority of the page, while the masculine voice of empiricism, authority, and scholarly reason is pushed to the margins. This essay offers a distant reading of the range of annotations women poets provided, in order to begin new conversations about the ways women’s poetry served as a site of and structure for intellectual exploration in the eighteenth century.


scholarly verse, women poets, poetry, distant reading, gender, authority