is literally "an acquaintance with letters
", as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary
(from the Latin littera
meaning "an individual written character"). The term has generally come to identify a collection of texts
or works of art
, which in Western culture are mainly prose
, both fiction
. In much (if not all) of the world, texts can be oral
as well, and include such genres
, other forms of oral poetry, and the folktale
. The word "literature" as a common noun can refer to any form of writing, such as essays
; "Literature" as a proper noun refers to a whole body of literary work.
The history of literature begins with the history of writing, in the Bronze Age of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, although the oldest literary texts date to a full millennium after the invention of writing, to the late 3rd millennium BC. The earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep and Enheduanna, dating to ca. the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, respectively. More about Literature...
Adelaide Anne Procter (30 October 1825 – 2 February 1864) was an English poet and philanthropist. She worked on behalf of a number of causes, most prominently on behalf of unemployed women and the homeless, and was actively involved with feminist groups and journals. Procter never married, and some of her poetry has prompted speculation that she was a lesbian. She suffered from ill health, possibly due to her charity work, and died of tuberculosis at the age of 38.
Procter's literary career began when she was a teenager; her poems were primarily published in Charles Dickens's periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round and later published in book form. Her charity work and her conversion to Roman Catholicism appear to have strongly influenced her poetry, which deals most commonly with such subjects as homelessness, poverty, and fallen women.
Procter was the favourite poet of Queen Victoria. Her poetry went through numerous editions in the 19th century; Coventry Patmore called her the most popular poet of the day, after Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Her poems were set to music and made into hymns, and were published in the United States and Germany as well as in England. Nonetheless, by the early 20th century her reputation had diminished, and few modern critics have given her work attention. Those who have, however, argue that Procter's work is significant, in part for what it reveals about how Victorian women expressed otherwise repressed feelings.