Guide to the Year’s Work General Materials DAVID G. RIEDE Certainly one of the largest, and probably the most important, re- cent works on Victorian poetry is A Companion to Victorian Poetry, edited by Richard Cronin, Alison Chapman, and Antony H. Harrison, a compi- lation of thirty-one substantial essays by established scholars on a wide variety of forms and issues. The Companion is an embarrassment of riches for a reviewer since many of the essays call out for extended individual attention, but I will focus my attention here on the structure and achieve- ment of the volume as a whole. Considering both the difficulties of articu- lating a fixed canon of Victorian poets and the limitations of looking at poets in isolation, the editors have chosen wisely to eschew the usual prac- tice of commissioning essays on individual poets, and have instead com- missioned essays on wide ranging but more or less discrete topics: genres (from epic to nonsense), traditions (classical and medieval), “schools” (Tractarian, Spasmodic, and Pre-Raphaelite), the market for poetry, and intersections of poetry with other elements of Victorian culture (imperial- ism, nationalisms, religion, science, gender, and sexuality). Obviously par- celing out essays to a variety of
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Dec 16, 2003
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