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Michael Field

Publication Date: March 14, 2016

Chapter: The Victorian Age

"Michael Field" was the pen name shared by two different women, Katherine Harris Bradley and Edith Emma Cooper. They were lovers for over forty years, until they both died of cancer within a year of each other.

A lot of "Michael Field's" poetry consisted of love poems that the women were actually writing about each other. Disguising themselves as one man was a clever ruse (it's worth remembering that homosexuality was still against the law in England at the time, just ask Oscar Wilde), but Robert Browning ruined it by outting the couple. Robert Browning was a jerk.

The Fields, as they came to be known, were heavily influenced by the poetry of Sappho, the ancient Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. That's probably not a huge surprise. Sappho's work had finally been published, with the correct pronouns (Sappho was a lady writing about lovin' other ladies), in English in 1885. If you're curious about such things, I covered some of Sappho's work in the first issue of the Lit Brick comic book.

Year: 1846-1914 • Info: Wikipedia

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