Home » British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century by Stephen Gurney
British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century Stephen Gurney

British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century

Stephen Gurney

Published September 1st 1993
ISBN : 9780805784527
Hardcover
341 pages
Enter the sum

 About the Book 

Stephen Gurneys British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century fills a void in recent intellectual history. It is a deft examination of the British poetic tradition during an era encompassing the romantic and Victorian poets. Gurney expertly distillsMoreStephen Gurneys British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century fills a void in recent intellectual history. It is a deft examination of the British poetic tradition during an era encompassing the romantic and Victorian poets. Gurney expertly distills current scholarship within the context of a broad historical survey that is neither too superficial in its discussion of individual poets nor incomplete in its analysis of literary movements and periods. The author uses his thorough knowledge of the British romantic and Victorian poets to enable the reader to grasp the poets relationship to his precursors, his peers, and the intellectual climate of his age. Gurneys study achieves a breadth of historical awareness and defends the notion that despite the limitations of any historical period, a great poet touches upon that which is timeless and universal in human experience. The critical assumption of British Poetry of the Nineteenth Century is that, while the history of English letters constantly expands and changes, the study of the past has an intrinsic value inasmuch as it enables us to rise above the often restrictive or reductive vantage point of our present moment. Gurney is articulate and convincing when, for example, he argues that Milton is not only of historical value insofar as some knowledge of his works is necessary to understand the reactions he engendered in romantic poets like Blake, Shelley, and the Brontes, but also for the foothold that he gives us outside the constricting circle of our age. For the themes he explores and the sensitivities he fosters are precisely those that our age may have forgotten - and that, therefore, we have the greatest need to hear and consider. This same assumption underpins Gurneys analysis of the principal poets who inform this study: Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Hopkins, and other major writers of the nineteenth century. Gurneys perspective is clearly in accord with that of Wordsworth w