First published in 1969, this edition collection brings together a series of essays offering a re-evaluation of Victorian poetry in the light of early 20th Century criticism. The essays in this collection concentrate upon the poets whose reputations suffered from the great redirection of energy in English criticism initiated in this century by Eliot, Richards and Leavis. What theses poets wrote about, the values they expressed, the form of the poems, the language they used, all these were examined and found wanting in some radical way. One of the results of this criticism was the renewal of interest in metaphysical and eighteenth-century poetry and corresponding ebb of enthusiasm for Romantic poetry and for Victorian poetry in particular. Most of the essays in this book take as their starting point questions raised by the debate on Victorian poetry, both earlier in this century and in the more recent past. There are essays on the poetry of Tennyson, Browning and Arnold, on that of Clough, who until recently has been neglected, and Hopkins, because of, rather than in spite of, the fact that he is usually considered to be a modern poet. The volume is especially valuable in that it will give a clearer understanding of the nature of Victorian poetry, concentrating as it does on those areas of a poet's work where critical discussion seems most necessary.
The Major Victorian Poets