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Charlotte Mew was a largely neglected literary figure in her own life time. She wrote through the twilight of the Victorian era towards the dawn of Modernism and is often deemed a proto-modernist, but her subtle originality and mesmerising unorthodoxy regularly defies a critical instinct to categories.
In the 1970s, fresh collections of her work were published and a new generation of readers began to appreciate the lyrical agility and graceful phrasing that distinguishes her work. Praised by Thomas Hardy as “the best woman poet of the day”, Mew enjoyed the patronage of several prominent writers but failed to achieve substantial fame outside London literary circles.