I have a blog post up at Risky Regencies today about eighteenth-century working-class poets!
There were actually a fair number of working class poets in eighteenth-century England, though their work has been excluded from the canon. A few of my personal favorites are:
1. Mary Collier. Wikipedia notes:
“She read Stephen Duck‘s The Thresher’s Labour (1730) and in response to his apparent disdain for labouring-class women, wrote the 246-line poem for which she is mainly remembered, The Woman’s Labour: an Epistle to Mr Stephen Duck. In this piece she catalogues the daily tasks of a working woman, both outside the home and, at the end of the day, within the home as well:
‘You sup, and go to Bed without delay,
And rest yourselves till the ensuing Day;
While we, alas! but little Sleep can have…'”