C.J. Brennan’s femme fatale: Representations of female sexuality in Poems [1913]

Katrina Hansord


This essay is intended to reappraise, from a feminist perspective, Christopher Brennan's 'Poems [1913]'. It will argue that through the key figure of Lilith, Brennan's representation of female sexuality and Motherhood disrupts the traditional representations of Lilith in mythology, reflecting changes in the defined roles of gender identity occurring in the late nineteenth century. By examining Brennan's representation of gender in relation to the historical context and to the broader theological concerns of the poetry, this essay will argue for the possibility that Brennan's poetry could be regarded as 'protofeminist'. The works of critical thinkers and theorists such as Julia Kristeva, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Mary Condren and Judith Wright are drawn on to form this argument.


Christopher Brennan; poetry; mythology; gender

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