Victorian Poetry

Victorian Poetry

by John Drinkwater (Author)
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This book is called Victorian Poetry for convenience. It does not, it need hardly be said, pretend to anything like a thorough examination of the voluminous poetry of the Victorian era in all its aspects. Significant criticism of Tennyson alone, to take a single instance, has already filled many volumes, a reflection which may well make the title chosen for this little book look like an impertinence. But while the present study does not profess to any exhaustiveness, it is about Victorian poetry, so that I may perhaps be allowed the choice, which is an easy one.
Certain omissions in the poets dealt with will occur to every reader. Chief of these, perhaps, is Mr. Thomas Hardy, but although Mr. Hardy might be claimed as at least partly Victorian in date he seems as a poet to belong to a later age in everything else. His own achievement is post-Victorian in character, and his influence upon the tradition of English poetry is one that is too presently active for definition yet awhile. So that I felt that to bring a consideration of his poetry into these notes would be to disturb the balance of the scheme. The same thing may be said, perhaps with rather less excuse, about George Meredith. He, more strictly than Mr. Hardy, belongs to the Victorian age, but it is by accident rather than by character. American poetry, save for a casual reference here and there, I have not mentioned at all. To have done so would not have furthered my design, nor could I have done it adequately within that design. Whitman, who is a law unto himself, could come into no design and needs a separate gospelling.

Publication date
April 30, 2022
File size
624 KB
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