Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing


Literature, English.


Quinsey, Katherine,




Joanna Baillie (1762--1851) is a seminal figure in the Romantic movement, whose poetry, and poetics warrants re-examination. She is one of many women who have faded away since their period of fame. This study examines Baillie's Prefaces, her poetry, and songs as a collective contribution to the early Romantic movement. Her verse, and songs remain virtually unconsidered by critics since their conception. Her poetics is considered in an era of changing literary taste. Baillie's prose, and poetry express her belief in sympathetic curiosity, and natural representation in language. Her literary life, and its influence upon the evolution of her Romantic ideals is examined. She is a precursory figure who anticipated Wordsworth, offering her readers a theoretical framework that celebrates the subtleties and shadings of the human heart, and human psyche. Additionally, she was a member of Britain's literary circle, and her friendship with Sir Walter Scott provided a reciprocal and critical literary relationship. Baillie's career is critiqued by the Quarterly Review LXVII (1841); their commentary on Baillie's "Fugitive Verses" is analysed for inaccuracy and bias, followed by a review of "Night Scenes of Other Times," "Fragment of a Poem," "Thunder," and "A Mother to her Waking Infant." The final chapters of this study looks at Baillie as the songstress of Scotland; and "Lines to Agnes Baillie" is considered as a Romantic anthem, defining Baillie's poetics. Joanna Baillie enjoyed a dynamic literary career as a playwright, poet, editor, critic, lyricist, and prolific correspondent. She warrants a place in a restored literary canon.Dept. of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .W45. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0359. Adviser: Katherine Quinsey. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.