Laura Riding

David Reid (University of Stirling)
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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 to her then repelled. She provoked endless…

1469 words

Citation: Reid, David. "Laura Riding". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001 [, accessed 14 July 2024.]

3784 Laura Riding 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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