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A Companion to Victorian Poetry

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2318-1
632 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Victorian Poetry (1405123184) cover image

Description

This Companion brings together specially commissioned essays by distinguished international scholars that reflect both the diversity of Victorian poetry and the variety of critical approaches that illuminate it.

  • Approaches Victorian poetry by way of genre, production and cultural context, rather than through individual poets or poems
  • Demonstrates how a particular poet or poem emerges from a number of overlapping cultural contexts.
  • Explores the relationships between work by different poets
  • Recalls attention to a considerable body of poetry that has fallen into neglect
  • Essays are informed by recent developments in textual and cultural theory
  • Considers Victorian women poets in every chapter
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Table of Contents

Editors’ Preface viii

Notes on Contributors x

Chronology xv

Introduction: Victorian Poetics 1
Carol T. Christ

PART ONE Varieties and Forms 23

1 Epic 25
Herbert F. Tucker

2 Domestic and Idyllic 42
Linda H. Peterson

3 Lyric 59
Matthew Rowlinson

4 Dramatic Monologue 80
E. Warwick Slinn

5 Sonnet and Sonnet Sequence 99
Alison Chapman

6 Elegy 115
Seamus Perry

7 Hymn 134
J. R. Watson

8 Nonsense 155
Roderick McGillis

9 Verse Novel 171
Dino Felluga

10 Verse Drama 187
Adrienne Scullion

11 Working-Class Poetry 204
Florence Boos

12 The Classical Tradition 229
Richard Jenkyns

13 Arthurian Poetry and Medievalism 246
Antony H. Harrison

14 Poetry in Translation 262
J.-A. George

15 Tractarian Poetry 279
Stephen Prickett

16 The Spasmodics 291
Richard Cronin

17 The Pre-Raphaelite School 305
David Riede

18 The Poetry of the 1890s 321
Chris Snodgrass

PART TWO Production, Distribution and Reception 343

19 The Market 345
Lee Erickson

20 Anthologies and the Making of the Poetic Canon 361
Natalie M. Houston

21 Reviewing 378
Joanne Shattock

22 Poetry and Illustration 392
Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

PART THREE Victorian Poetry and Victorian Culture 419

23 Nationhood and Empire 421
Margaret Linley

24 Poetry in the Four Nations 438
Matthew Campbell

25 Poetry and Religion 457
W. David Shaw

26 Poetry and Science 475
Alan Rauch

27 Landscape and Cityscape 493
Pauline Fletcher

28 Vision and Visuality 510
Catherine Maxwell

29 Marriage and Gender 526
Julia F. Saville

30 Sexuality and Love 543
John Maynard

Index 567

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Author Information

Richard Cronin teaches at Glasgow University. His publications include The Politics of Romantic Poetry (2000) and Romantic Victorians: English Literature 1824-1840 (2002)

Antony H. Harrison teaches at North Carolina State University. His books include Victorian Poets and Romantic Poems (1990), Victorian Poets and the Politics of Culture (1998), The Culture of Christina Rossetti (1999), and The Letters of Christina Rossetti (4 vols, 1998-2004).

Alison Chapman teaches at Glasgow University and is the author of The Afterlife of Christina Rossetti (2000), editor of Victorian Women's Poetry (2003), and co-editor of Women and Italy in the Nineteenth Century (2002).

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The Wiley Advantage


  • Comprises a series of essays by distinguished international scholars
  • Approaches Victorian poetry by way of genre, production and cultural context, rather than through individual poets or poems
  • Demonstrates how a particular poet or poem emerges from a number of overlapping cultural contexts
  • Explores the relationships between work by different poets
  • Recalls attention to a considerable body of poetry that has fallen into neglect
  • Essays are informed by recent developments in textual and cultural theory
    Considers Victorian women poets in every chapter
See More

Reviews

"Yet overall, and at its best, it provides what few critical books can offer: a highly readable, even rollicking account of the whole era, as variegated and lively as Victorian poetry itself." (Review 19, 2011)

"[A] comprehensive, challenging picture of Victorian poetry emerges when reading the entire collection of essays.... A feast of information." (Brontë Studies, November 2009)

"The essays within are excellent. I think it an indispensable book. The essays address the multifariousness of Victorian poetry, and the variety of critical and theoretical issues; in addition, they give the reader a sense of the marketing and reception of the poetry." (Studies in English Literature, Fall 2008)

"Scholars will want to own this book.... Highly recommended." (Choice)

"A rich diversity of distinguished and learned scholars, mostly from North America and the UK, have combined in this singularly impressive and important volume, to provide what for many might at first sight seem to be an almost impossible harvest: fresh and original essays on carefully selected aspects of the poetry of Victorian England." (Reference Reviews)

"Nicely affordable for the wealth of insights contained therein. Contains some fresh research.... This companion will not sit on the shelf and collect dust, but [will] be useful for both scholarly and entertaining reading." (English Literature in Transition)

"Not only is the Companion brimming with fine arguments—there are far too many essays that warrant notice than can possibly be picked out in a short review—but it is also very well put together as a collection. Its clear table of contents and fulsome index make it easy to negotiate. Each essay is, moreover, followed by a generous list of references and suggested further reading." (The Tennyson Research Bulletin)

"Not only is the Companion brimming with fine arguments - there are far too many essays that warrant notice than can possibly be picked out in a short review - but it is also very well put together as a collection. Its clear table of contents and fulsome index make it easy to negotiate. Each essay is, moreover, followed by a generous list of references and suggested further reading."
Michael Hurley, Cambridge University, The Tennyson Research Bulletin

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