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Reading Victorian Poetry

ISBN: 978-1-4443-5497-3
224 pages
November 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Reading Victorian Poetry (1444354973) cover image


Reading Victorian Poetry offers close readings of poems from the Victorian era by a  renowned scholar. The selection includes a range of canonical and lesser known writers
  • Skilfully conveys the breadth and diversity of nineteenth-century poetry
  • Offers an ideal balance of canonical and less well-known writers
  • Allows readers to explore the poetry of the Victorian era, through the eyes of one of the most renowned scholars in the field
  • Poets covered include Matthew Arnold,  Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Lewis Carroll, A. H. Clough, G. M. Hopkins, Edward Lear, Christina Rossetti, D. G. Rossetti, A. C. Swinburne, Arthur Symons, Alfred Tennyson, Oscar Wilde
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: The Victorian Poetry Palace 1

2 The Divided Self and the Dramatic Monologue 27

3 Victorian Metrics 65

4 Short Poems, Long Poems and the Victorian Sonnet Sequence 89

5 Victorian Poetry and Translation 114

6 Victorian Poetry and Life 141

7 Poetry and Religion 174

8 Conclusion: The 1890s 196

Bibliography 220

Index 229

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Author Information

Richard Cronin is emeritus professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His publications include 1798: The Year of the Lyrical Ballads (1998), The Politics of Romantic Poetry: In Search of the Pure Commonwealth (2000), Romantic Victorians: English Literature, 1824–1840 (2002), A Companion to Victorian Poetry (co-edited with Antony H. Harrison and Alison Chapman, Wiley Blackwell, 2002, 2007), Paper Pellets: British Literary Culture after Waterloo (2010), and the 21st-Century Oxford Authors Robert Browning (co-edited with Dorothy McMillan, 2015).

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“Richard Cronin’s exceptionally fine book carries out just what its title promises – reading. The pleasure of his adroit, meticulously imaginative insights into verbal and metrical effects is constant … One of the best general readings of Victorian poetry in the last ten years.” Victorian Studies

Reading Victorian Poetry will make an excellent introduction to Victorian poetry and gives a good account of a number of key issues.” English Studies

“[A] compelling new critical survey of the period’s poems … Cronin’s deft close readings enable … shifts and juxtapositions, and the assured breadth of his knowledge and reference … It is a definite strength of Cronin’s approach that his own book’s attempt to recover ways of appreciating and understanding Victorian poetry overlaps with the techniques Victorian poets themselves used to address and forestall their anxieties about the meaning and value of their work. [It] proves to be a good way of tuning in to the distinctive music of the Victorian poem.” The Tennyson Society

"This is a distinguished, authoritative, and fluent book, which will provoke discussion and be genuinely useful to readers." Francis O'Gorman, Leeds University

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