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English Literature   >   Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

Little Red-Cap

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Carol Ann Duffy: The World'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.

Little Red-Cap

In this module, we introduce the collection as a whole before looking in detail at its first poem, ‘Little Red-Cap’. In particular, we focus on: (i) the key preoccupations of The World’s Wife, especially its interest in giving a voice to the wives and mothers of famous men; (ii) the extent to which ‘Little Red-Cap’ should be read as an autobiographical poem; (iii) the different kinds of masculinity represented by the wolf; (iv) the literary heritage of the ‘deep, dark woods’, which can be a place of danger or a place of liberation; (v) Duffy’s combination of high poetry (“Lesson one that night … was the love poem”) with the mundane (“How nice, breakfast in bed, he said”); (vi) the triumph of the female over the female; and (vii) the ending of the poem.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

McRae, J. "Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife – Little Red-Cap." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Apr 2020,


Prof. John McRae

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University