Yearbook of English Studies

Journal providing articles and reviews on language and literature for English-speaking world.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 2, Annual

Alfred Tennyson: Problems of Biography
In Memoriam is central to a biographer's enquiry because it is at once a public monument and a passionate record of private bereavement. The poet's love for his dead friend Arthur Hallam has prompted responsible and continuing debate over Tennyson's...
Read preview Overview
Ancient or Modern, Ancient and Modern: The Victorian Hymn and the Nineteenth Century
Hymns Ancient and Modern (1860-61) was one of the great literary achievements of the nineteenth century, its sales eclipsing those of every other printed book. In religion, the growing uncertainties and doubts produced a frenetic activity, shown...
Read preview Overview
Browning's Painters
This essay examines all Browning's poems about paintings in order to explore his (not always consistent) view of art history, particularly of the importance of Greek sculpture and mythology in later centuries, and of how medieval painting changed...
Read preview Overview
Clough's Difficulties
This essay proposes a fresh conception of Arthur Hugh Clough's understanding of the nature of authoritative knowledge and the limits of human teaching. It begins by asking why The Bothie of Toper-na-Fuosich (1848) is so hard to read and argues that...
Read preview Overview
Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Old Masters
Dante Gabriel Rossetti played a major role in forming Victorian patterns of taste. As a young painter, he rejected the conventional path by turning from the techniques of post-Raphaelite artists towards the style of the Italian and Flemish early...
Read preview Overview
Dickens and the Idea of the Comic Novel
The idea of comedy inherited by Dickens and his contemporaries derived from classical, medieval, and Renaissance traditions, in which comedy dealt with 'low-life' subjects and exposed the 'ludicrous' in human actions, but which also allowed for...
Read preview Overview
Editor's Preface
'The Victorian period now seems, suddenly, further away,' writes Francis O'Gorman, who is one of the contributors to this volume. 'The arrival of the new millennium has thrown a peculiarly clear light on the gradual shift that has taken place in...
Read preview Overview
George Eliot and the Idea of Travel
Compared with Dickens, George Eliot makes little use of her extensive foreign travels in her fiction. This essay traces the incidental role of travel in the novels until it becomes central to Daniel Deronda. In the early fiction the circumscribed...
Read preview Overview
'In Her Father's Steps She Trod': Anne Thackeray Ritchie Imagining Paris
Anny Thackeray's The Story of Elizabeth (1863) was written in the interstices of transcribing her father's last novel, and won instant acclaim for its 'freshness' when it followed William Makepeace Thackeray's The Adventures of Philip, in the Cornhill....
Read preview Overview
'Lovers and Philosophers at Once': Aesthetic Platonism in the Victorian Fin De Siecle
This article considers the reception of Plato by writers close to the aesthetic movement in the Victorian fin de siecle. In Plato, and especially in the Phaedrus, authors such as John Addington Symonds, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde find a myth...
Read preview Overview
On Being Second-Rate: The Skeleton Art of Thomas Lovell Beddoes
Thomas Lovell Beddoes is periodically subject to critical resurrection, in an attempt to secure his 'rightful place' in the canon. But Beddoes himself offers a different perspective on his life's work--principally its central ruin, Death's Jest-Book....
Read preview Overview
Quarrels and Coteries in the 1890s
This essay considers the rivalries and quarrels of coterie culture and some of its leading figures in the 1890s, including Yeats and the Rhymers' Club, the 'Valistes' (Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon), Francis Thompson and the Catholic circle...
Read preview Overview
Retexts: A Review Article
This article reviews a dozen new editions of Victorian texts published by Broadview Press (Peterborough, Canada) and another by Oxford University Press in its World's Classics series. Consideration of the various editions leads to reflections on...
Read preview Overview
Swinburne's Spasms: Poems and Ballads and the 'Spasmodic School'
This article explores Swinburne's relation to the 'spasmodic school' of the 1850s, arguing that spasmodic poetry constituted an important influence on Poems and Ballads. This influence is particularly apparent in a shared interest in the body and...
Read preview Overview
'The Burden of Ourselves': Arnold as a Post-Romantic Poet
This essay returns to the question of the response to the major English Romantic Poets, especially Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, made by Matthew Arnold in his poetry. It focuses on the doubleness and dividedness of this reponse, and it...
Read preview Overview
The Laws of Hospitality: Liberty, Generosity, and the Limits of Dissent in William Morris's the Tables Turned and News from Nowhere
This article scrutinizes recent critical claims that William Morris's The Tables Turned (1887) and News from Nowhere (1890) constitute exceptionally tolerant and accommodating visions of the ideal society. The first section provides evidence in...
Read preview Overview
The Trouble with Comfort: Christina Rossetti, John Ruskin, and Leafy Emotion
The use of the leaf image in Christina Rossetti and John Ruskin is expressive of their different attitudes towards human emotion. Rossetti, viewing emotion as a barrier to religious salvation, projects feeling into the natural world and thus fails...
Read preview Overview
The Victorian Sonnet, from George Meredith to Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Victorian sonnet has too often been seen as a poor derivative of the great Renaissance and Romantic achievements in the genre, lacking the stylistic complexity and the political force of its predecessors. Despite its reputation, the Victorian...
Read preview Overview
'Who Wants Authority?' Ruskin as a Dissenter
This article explores John Ruskin's relations with cultural authority in terms of his religious history. Early evangelicalism and Romanticism, and an intense training in biblical interpretation, established a questioning and inward approach to knowledge...
Read preview Overview