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Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

12. Anne Hathaway

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the twelfth poem in the collection, ‘Anne Hathaway', focusing in particular on: (i) the historical figure of Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife; (ii) the form of the poem; (iii) the unusual subject matter in the context of the collection so far – a wife that actually likes her husband!; and (iv) the importance of touch in the relationship between man and wife – both in this poem ("Romance / and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste") and in other poems in the collection (e.g. Pilate’s Wife).


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Carol Ann Duffy’s 1999 collection, 'The World's Wife'. After a brief introduction to the collection as a whole, the course continue with a read-through and analysis of each of the thirty poems in the collection, one by one.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2020, April 28). Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife - Anne Hathaway [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife – Anne Hathaway." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Apr 2020,