News July 2023: Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne Added to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; plus new selection of her poems

I’m happy to announce that my biographical article about Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne has just been published in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online.  In her lifetime she was sufficiently well known to be included in Who’s Who (first appearing there in 1912, a year earlier than her brother, poet  Wilfrid Gibson)—but it has taken almost a century for her to join  Wilfrid and her husband Thomas Kelly Cheyne in the ODNB. The article is available behind a paywall, but can be read for free in public and academic libraries in the UK. The basic outline of her life remains available on this website.

To mark the occasion, I’m publishing a selection of poems from  her 1910 collection From the Wilderness. This  self-published book of free verse, with its plainer language,and more overtly political  themes, marks a shift in form and content from most of her previous poetry. I’ve chosen poems that illuminate her engagement with the feminist, socialist, and freethought debates of the period.  They also tie in with an online talk I gave earlier this year, ‘A Poet among the Social Reformers’: Elizabeth Gibson,  Socialist, Suffragist and Freethinker’,  which I’m currently writing up prior to uploading it here. Watch this space! [Now available with this link.]

Also coming soon: a couple of articles from the  1970’s feminist paper Catcall, one on Anarchist Feminism and one on Censorship and Self-oppression.