Laura Riding

(1469 words)
  • David Reid (University of Stirling)

Among the evangelists and messiahs of literature in the early twentieth century, Riding is the only woman. That subjected her to a particularly damaging and diminishing scrutiny, along with a special sort of admiration. At the same time, the radical potentiality of literature in this period gave her scope as a woman. She made extraordinary claims for poetry. She came to see it as a way of remaking the self and the world and of attaining, or at least approaching, a divine state of absolute consciousness. She was fortunate or cursed with the power to impress others, at least for a time, and a circle of believers, continually changing (apart from Robert Graves, whose need to believe was as ruthless as her need to be believed in), was drawn …

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Reid, David. "Laura Riding". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Articles on Riding's works

  1. A Survey of Modernist Poetry
  2. Collected Poems