Supreme Attachments: Studies in Victorian Love Poetry, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Supreme Attachments

Studies in Victorian Love Poetry, 1st Edition

By Kerry McSweeney


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781840142020
pub: 1998-08-17
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pub: 2016-12-05
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The Victorian poetry of sexual love between men and women has not been as fully studied as other components of the imaginative literature of the period, and some of the attention it has received has been more concerned with the society and ideology of the age than with the poetry or the love. This study attempts an integrated account of the three elements, with particular emphasis on the close reading of poems. Chapters are devoted to the distinguishing features of Victorian love poetry; Browning’s dramatic lyrics; Tennyson’s Maud and the lyrics from Princess; women poets (Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti and Emily Dickinson); Clough’s three long poems of contemporary life, Meredith’s Modern Love; the lyrics written by Morris and Dante Rossetti during the late 1860s and early 1870s, when the latter was conducting an affair with Morris’ wife; and two elegiac sequences, the bereavement odes from Patmore’s Unknown Eros and Hardy’s Poems of 1912-13. A final chapter uses the love poetry of D H Lawrence to point up continuities between Victorian and later love poetry.


’Warmly recommended to all students of Victorian culture who want to learn more about a period erroneously thought prudish, priggish, and repressed.’ Choice

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Browning's Lessons in Love; Tennyson's Delicate Vessels; Unkissed Lips: Women and Love; Clough's Compasses to Steer By; Physic for Adults: Meredith's Modern Love; The Old High Way Of Love: Morris and Dante Rossetti; Love Elegies: Patmore and Hardy; Continuities; List of Works Cited; Index.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature