Virgilian imagery and references are the most sustained in the novel The Seven Sisters (2003). Drabble writes herself into a Virgilian tradition, explicitly adopting the Virgil of 20th-century Britain. She is an heiress of T. S. Eliot as her Virgil sings of a tradition that appears to be redundant and depicts the wastelands of London where communication no longer takes place. But her Virgil is also a Virgil who speaks for refugees and exiles. In this novel, as in the poetry and poetic treatises of Boland, the exiles are women who have been exposed to the Western tradition as part of their education and culture, yet who have been denied the rights of full citizenship within the tradition.
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