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Neo-Victorian poetry

Neo-Victorian poetry

Morton, John ORCID: 0000-0002-9089-7450 (2024) Neo-Victorian poetry. In: Brenda Ayres, Brenda and Maier, Sarah E., (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Neo-Victorianism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 273-293. ISBN 978-3031321597; 978-3031321603; 3031321596 (doi:

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A. S. Byatt’s 1991 novel, Possession, positions “Victorian” poetry at the centre of text and often drives plot in neo-Victorian literature. However, it is extremely rare to see articles focusing on poetry in books and journals dedicated to neo-Victorian studies. This chapter seeks to redress this, offering an overview of the most significant interventions in neo-Victorian poetry, before focusing specifically on poems addressing the pre-eminent Victorian poet, Alfred Tennyson. It considers poets such as Anthony Thwaite, Carol Ann Duffy, Margaret Atwood, Richard Howard, Daljit Nagra, Ruth Padel, Susana Gardner, Andrew Motion, Mick Imlah, Rosie Miles, John Seed, and Oliver Reynolds, all having produced poems and collections which can be considered neo-Victorian in their form (very often the quintessentially Victorian dramatic monologue) and focus (often about eminent or forgotten, Victorians, and sometimes as direct Possession responses to Victorian poems). Morton offers a case study of the varied ways in which poets have returned to address, challenge, and (less often) celebrate Alfred Tennyson and his works, in order to demonstrate a sustained trend in neo-Victorian poetry of hostility to “eminent Victorians” while acknowledging, in a much less iconoclastic fashion, the enduring force of his work.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Neo-Victorian; poetry; Carson; Motion; Phillips
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
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Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 13:55

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