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The Realms of Verse 1830-1870: English Poetry in a Time of Nation-Building (Paperback)
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The Realms of Verse 1830-1870: English Poetry in a Time of Nation-Building (Paperback)

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£44.49
Paperback 316 Pages / Published: 10/03/2005
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The poets of the mid-nineteenth century lived in a time of 'nation-building'. The Realms of Verse brings this political and intellectual context to life. Drawing on a wide range of soources, Matthew Reynolds shows that the Italian Risorgimento raised questions about community and individual liberty which were especially problematic for subjects of the multi-national United Kingdom, and argues that these questions are at the heart of the poetry of Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Tennyson, and Clough. Their long poems characteristically tell stories about marriage, investigating the symbolic and actual interactions between that personal union and national unity. Their verse as a whole exploits correspondences between political government and poetic form, and is alert to its own role in fostering a common culture. Historically detailed, theoretically astute, critically nimble, and stylishly written, The Realms of Verse is the most far-reaching reassessment of Victorian poetry to have been published in recent years.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199282029
Number of pages: 316
Weight: 392 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review from previous edition the best general book of criticism on Victorian poetry altogether in the last decade . . . clearly aimed at non-specialists and specialists alike. * Alison Hickey, Essays in Criticism *
Reynolds is an exceptionally incisive and lucid critic, keenly attentive to formal dynamics . . . but also deft in summarizing the distinctive political engagements of each poet . . . This is a politics of form, as Reynolds well knows, very different from that which prevails in most criticism. Indeed, his coolly polemical introduction points out the pitfalls of the ubiquitous literary-critical "politicizing" of human experience generally . . . This is an extremely important study, one of the best I know on the large ambitions of Victorian poetry. * James Eli Adams, Studies in English Literature *
The best critics, like the best poets (in Browning's words) "impart the gift of seeing to the rest". Reynolds has this gift of seeing and imparting. * Daniel Karlin, Times Literary Supplement *
How the insides of literary works relate to what's going on outside is a question of famous nicety, and Reynolds is painstakingly aware of the intricacies: indeed his awareness of them is possibly the most striking thing about the book, making it a kind of primer in the whole rich problem . . . Reynolds is a critic of great gifts; the book is full of passages beautifully read. * Seamus Perry, Tennyson Research Bulletin *
Victorian scholars will never be able to read familiar poems like 'Aurora Leigh' and 'Andrea del Sarto' the same way again. * Virginia Quarterly Review *
Reynolds sets a high standard for the new century's work in our area of literary studies. May he find able emulators soon. * Herbert Tucker, Victorian Studies *

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