A Companion to Victorian Poetry (Blackwell Companions to by Ciaran Cronin

By Ciaran Cronin

This better half brings jointly in particular commissioned essays through uncommon foreign students that mirror either the variety of Victorian poetry and the range of serious methods that light up it.Approaches Victorian poetry in terms of style, creation and cultural context, instead of via person poets or poems Demonstrates how a specific poet or poem emerges from a few overlapping cultural contexts. Explores the relationships among paintings through diversified poets recollects consciousness to a substantial physique of poetry that has fallen into overlook Essays are knowledgeable via contemporary advancements in textual and cultural thought Considers Victorian ladies poets in each bankruptcy

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Extra resources for A Companion to Victorian Poetry (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

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Bagehot opposes pure art to ornate art, whose exemplar is Tennyson. The ornate style attempts to surround the type ‘with the greatest number of circumstances which it will bear’ (II, 351), working not by choice and selection but by accumulation and aggregation. The grotesque, exemplified by Browning, abandons the type altogether to take as its 10 Carol T. Christ subject the mind in difficulties, abnormal specimens, struggling with obstacles, encumbered with incongruities. In his definitions Bagehot connects subject matter to style.

He then reduces the scope of experience yet further: Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without. Every one of those impressions is the impression of the individual in his isolation, each mind keeping as a solitary prisoner its own dream of a world. (Pater 1910: I, 235) Although we might describe Browning’s or Tennyson’s characters in the way in which Pater describes the conditions of consciousness, Browning and Tennyson both create a dramatic frame that enables the reader to analyse and judge such solitary imaginings.

Moreover, Victorian poetry is so diverse and eclectic that it is difficult to make a single characterization of its style. Nevertheless, Ruskin’s definition of the Gothic reflects the way in which critics and writers valued a style embracing elaboration, accumulation, luxuriance of energy, profusion of natural objects, variety. However different, Tennyson’s and Browning’s poetry shares a superfluity of detail and expressive formulation. In a review published in 1864 of Tennyson’s Enoch Arden and Other Poems and Browning’s Dramatis Personae, entitled ‘Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Browning; or Pure, Ornate, and Grotesque Art in English Poetry’, Walter Bagehot criticized both poets for an excessive elaboration in their style.

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