Printer Friendly

The Pre-Raphaelites.

Changes abound: in the United Kingdom, Brexit; here, in the Pre-Raphaelite section of "The Year's Work," we bid farewell to Christina Rossetti, who has now joined her sisters in the women poets section. As partial compensation for this departure, 2016 witnessed several discussions of lesser-known Pre-Raphaelites and of Pre-Raphaelitism in general, as well as many articles on William Morris and an elegant monograph placing the latter's views in the context of the Paris Commune.

In "A 'World of Its Own Creation': Pre-Raphaelite Poetry and the New Paradigm for Art" (Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 25 [Spring 2016]), David Latham undertakes the difficult task of defining a Pre-Raphaelite literary sensibility. He cites William Morris's 1891 claim that art should be naturalistic, narrativized, and ornamental, observing that "[i]t is the jarring conflict of tensions among these three paradoxical principles--a literary subject within a naturalistic setting with a decorative style--that gives Pre-Raphaelite art its power" (p. 7). Latham terms this fusion of unstable opposites the "literary grotesque," characterized by disruptive violence, a reaching "towards mysterious truths not yet entirely grasped" (p. 11), and "varying senses of degeneration from a paradise lost" (p. 25). These guidelines lit well with his examples from lesser-known as well as familiar works of Dante Rossetti, Lizzie Siddal, Morris, and W. B. Yeats. With its clear definitions, review of late nineteenth-century interpretations of Pre-Raphaelitism, and sympathetic close readings of such poems as Rossetti's "Downstream" and Siddal's "Love and Hate," Latham's article would serve well as assigned reading for a course on Victorian poetry or the Pre-Raphaelites.

In "Philip B. Marston's 'Prelude': Blindness, Form, and the Long Pre-Raphaelite Period" (Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 25 [Spring 2016]), Jordan Kistler argues that Marston's poetry provides an example of creative response to sensory loss as well as meriting renewed attention for its distinctive features. She finds that later reviewers buried Marston's previously well-received poetry by their assumption that a sightless poet must perforce lack original poetic capacity and even empathy. Kistler's acute analysis of the sounds and emotions conveyed in Marston's verse, especially his "Prelude," demonstrates the poet's continued ability to evoke visual detail, as well as his fashioning of expressive rhythms into a complementary aural Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic.

In "Women's Voices in the Pre-Raphaelite Space of Elizabeth Gaskell's Novels," in Place and Progress in the Work of Elizabeth Gaskell, ed. Lesa Scholl and Emily Morris (New York: Routledge, 2016), Sophia Andres explores the influence of Pre-Raphaelite paintings on Gaskell's writings, as her novels critique and undermine familiar Pre-Raphaelite representations of attractive but passive women. Noting Gaskell's friendship with Dante Rossetti and her commentaries on specific paintings by Rossetti, Hunt, and Millais, Andres contrasts Millais's "The Order of Release" and "Ophelia," Rossetti's "The Girlhood of Mary Virgin" and "Ancilla Mea Domina," and Hunt's "Valentine and Sylvia" and "The Light of the World" with specific scenes in Ruth and Sylvia's Lovers that depict the energetic responses of attractive young women when confronted with danger. Arguing that Gaskell would have seen Elizabeth Siddal's drawings when visiting Rossetti's studio, Andres observes that both Siddal and Gaskell revisit familiar narratives such as that of "The Lady of Shalott" in order to present alternate images of women's creative power.

In "Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Remarketing Desire," in Victorian Transformations: Genre, Nationalism and Desire in Nineteenth-Century Literature, ed. Bianca Tedennick (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2016), Julie Carr explores Rossetti's vexed relationship with the expectations of the Victorian marketplace. She finds his preoccupation with the social constraints placed on artworks to reveal a "modernist self-reflexivity" (p. 134), as shown in his story "St. Agnes of Intercession," as well as biographically in his attempts to manipulate the public reception of his works. Carr argues that the protagonist of "The Blessed Damozel" resists the notion of a static heaven, as represented by his beloved, and concludes that in portraying desire as open-ended and unassuaged, Rossetti preserves the subject from "an existence defined solely by institutional and economic forces" (p. 148).

In "A Victorian Idealist: William North and His 'Lost' Magazine" (Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 25 [Spring 2016]), Allan Life skillfully dissects the tangled literary preoccupations of this talented, if troubled, friend of Dante and William Rossetti. North was an amateur scientist, author of four novels and science-themed short stories, poet and translator of French poetry, editor of short-lived literary magazines, and inconsistent political theorist, whose mentally unstable life ended tragically at the age of twenty-nine. Life discerns parallels between the attitudes and interests of Dante Rossetti and William North, although North's improbable and grandiose autobiographical plots might suggest his greater kinship with the Spasmodic poets than with the Pre-Raphaelites.

Jordan Kistler's Arthur O'Shaughnessy: A Pre-Raphaelite Poet in the British Museum (New York: Routledge, 2016) argues for O'Shaughnessy's importance as an early adapter of French decadent motifs and as a link between the Pre-Raphaelite, aesthetic, and decadent movements. At his death at age thirty-six, the author of "We Are the Music Makers" left behind three published volumes and many unpublished manuscripts. Kistler argues that these have been relatively neglected due to the classist assumption by Victorian critics that O'Shaughnessy's occupation as a taxonomist for the British Museum precluded significant poetic achievement. In chapter 1, '"Dreary Creeds' and 'Sham Wits': O'Shaughnessy's Poetic Representations of Nature and Science," she arrestingly details the exact labors O'Shaughnessy performed: identifying and describing the corpses of lizards pickled in formaldehyde in a special room in the museum's basement. She demonstrates that--contrary to the assumptions of his critics--O'Shaughnessy's employment profoundly influenced his writing: first, in motivating an intense desire to escape into an imaginative, even decadent world; next, in inspiring a nature poetry that revisited the scenes that had generated the once-living forms encountered in his work; and finally, in prompting an early critique of the moral consequences of Darwinian survivalism and a proto-socialist view of writers and artists as the workers of the world.

In chapter 2, '"I Carve the Marble of Pure Thought': Work and Art in the Poetry of Arthur O'Shaughnessy," Kistler explores the poet's relationship to aristocratic antibourgeois notions of "l'art pour l'art" proffered by contemporary aesthetes, as well as to the Victorian identification of aestheticism with effeminacy. Since O'Shaughnessy considered his own conventionally masculine work at the museum an unproductive form of wage slavery, his first volume, The Epic of Women, celebrates an idealized world of leisure and art, undercut by a sense of isolation, fear of loss, and depictions of violent sexuality. Desiring a role for the poet as a useful member of society, however, in his later, less-known poems, he presents himself as a worker among other workers: "I said, O fellow worker, yea, for I am a worker too, /... I carve the marble of pure thought until the thought takes form, / Until it gleams before my soul and makes the world grow warm" ("Song of a Fellow-Worker"). Finally, in O'Shaughnessy's last volume, Kistler finds that the poet "concentrates on the physicality of the act of creation, and is therefore in nineteenth-century terms of production, able to shift the label of 'work' from his non-productive museum career to that of his poetry" (p. 82). Though Kistler does not note this, many of O'Shaughnessy's poems reflect a careful reading and internalization of the problems explored in Morris's 1868-1870 The Earthly Paradise.

Chapter 3," 'The Purest Parian': The Formation of Arthur O'Shaughnessy," explores the poet's experiments in form, which employ subtle and intricate effects inspired by Baudelaire and other French "Parnassians." Kistler sees the appeal to craft as a rejection of a consumerist marketplace for art in favor of an aesthetic realm of synesthesia and the blending of forms. She defends his early An Epic of Women's portrayals of soulless, heartless femme fatales who meet violent ends as allegories of art: in An Epic of Women, the poet "aestheticizes sin. Like Art, these women are beautiful not despite their lack of morality, but because of it" (p. 103). The poet's later work defends this aestheticism by emphasizing the sculptural form of his poems and the effort involved in their production. In addition, its use of classical subject matter constitutes a similar "turn away from the dominant values of the period" (p. 112).

Chapter 4, '"Those Too Sanguine Singers': Arthur O'Shaughnessy's French Influences," considers French poetry as the deepest influence on the poet's writing, noting that he was the first to exploit several themes later taken up by French as well as English poets. During a period "notoriously resistant to influence from the Continent" (p. 120), O'Shaughnessy advocated for and introduced yet-unfamiliar authors such as Charles Baudelaire and Theophile Gautier, sharing in their distaste for Victorian sentimental moralism and adopting an aesthetic of decadent naturalism consistent with his understanding of Darwinian processes. At first conceived as a matter of superficial tone and metaphor, such an aesthetic appears in his later poetry as a portrayal of nature as simultaneously decaying and generative, prompting the aestheticizing of death. Kistler notes that "in his particular brand of decadence, ... O'Shaughnessy maintains his Romantic roots, privileging the natural over the artificial" (p. 133); his settings are not the Eastern harems of French decadence but an untouched world of nature, reflecting literary naturalism's focus on materialist depictions of sensory detail. In uniting features of English Romanticism and French decadence, Kistler argues that O'Shaughnessy was "instrumental in bridging the gap between the Pre-Raphaelitism practiced by poets such as D. G. Rossetti and William Morris in the 1870s and the aestheticism of the 1890s" (p. 140).

Finally, in chapter 5, '"Love's Splendid Lures': O'Shaughnessy's Medievalism," Kistler explores the highly erotic nature of the poet's use of medievalism, an interest sustained over his entire career. Eschewing Arthurian myth with its patriotic and nationalist themes, O'Shaughnessy's Lays of France offered creative adaptations of Marie de France's lais, selected "because of their narrow focus on love, without judgment or condemnation" (p. 152). Exploiting the contemporary popularity of medieval themes, the poet presents highly sexualized scenes of adulterous trysts within natural settings, often experienced from a female perspective and presented as the inevitable and even noble burden of fate. The use of French medieval traditions of courtly love enabled O'Shaughnessy to escape censure and create a "morally autonomous universe" in which to place his conflicted explorations of death, fate, love, and an appeal to eternity (p. 162). O'Shaughnessy's medievalism thus enables him to construct a personal metaphysics, compounded of "the ennobling power of the medieval courtly love system, the excesses and fatalism of decadence, and his own unique strain of melancholy lassitude" (p. 175). In all, O'Shaughnessy emerges from Kistler's densely argued book as a more varied and substantive writer than has hitherto been recognized, as well as an important transitional figure in the movement from 1870s aestheticism to 1890s decadence.

Several excellent new works consider Morris's political writings. Kristen Ross's Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune (London: Verso, 2015) argues that the Paris Commune and three of its nineteenth-century interpreters--Peter Kropotkin, Elisee Reclus, and William Morris--enter "vividly into the figurability of the present" (p. 2), as characterized by modern populist resistance movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter. In her meditation on the social formations and beliefs that prepared for or resulted from this seventy-two-day experiment in worker-controlled government, Ross identifies the actions by which women, educators, and artists refashioned a hierarchical social structure into an internationalist, egalitarian democracy. For readers less acquainted with French than English nineteenth-century history, it is arresting to read of the pioneering efforts of Elizabeth Dmitrieff (organizer for the Women's Union), Eugene Pottier (educator-advocate of a "polytechnic," multifaceted education), and the artist Gustave Courbet (founder of the Federation of Artists, which abolished the distinction between "signed" and "unsigned" [lesser] arts). Morris appears throughout Ross's account as a British advocate of similarly egalitarian views, formed during a period in which he visited Iceland and translated Scandinavian sagas. She notes that Morris found in Icelandic history an opening of possibilities, a "parable of the days to come" (p. 75), a quality also reflected in the events of his poetic epic on the Paris Commune, The Pilgrims of Hope, with its added "shocking characteristic: it happened in the present" (p. 76). Her account of emigre life in London emphasizes the extent to which solidarity and shared reflection on the Commune's meanings characterized the uprising's survivors, whose later theories were born from action rather than the reverse. Similarly Morris believed that the new society, like the Commune, would embody shared life on a human scale: "the secret of happiness lies in the taking of interest in all the details of life, in elevating them by art" (p. 113).

Viewing the sundry factions of 1880s British and emigre socialism in an eclectic light, Ross summarizes, "What they shared was a view of human living that left little or no place for either the state or party politics, the nation or the market" (p. 108). She also defends the lack of programmatic purity that characterized Morris and his associates: "what looks to be theoretical confusion may well be an astute and well-thought-out political strategy" (p. 111). Most important, "fellowship" for Morris meant kinship between persons freed to engage in creative labor, living in harmony with the variety of nature. For those who were influenced by the spirit of the Commune, Ross argues, "Nature's repair could only come about through the complete dismantling of international commerce and the capitalist system. A systemic problem demanded a systemic solution" (p. 139).

It is refreshing to read a modern commentator who, instead of revisiting the electoralism versus anarchism debates of the 1880s, argues for the relevance of Morris's program for "making socialists," the Abensourean "education of desire" that must accompany any political change. This seems a message expressly geared to the moment, as many people despair of making immediate changes in entrenched or undemocratic political systems and redouble their efforts at local initiatives and issue-directed coalitions. At times, the comparative method of Communal Luxury can slightly flatten the nuances of Morris's thought in order to point to resemblances with Kropotkin and Reclus, a scientist and geographer, respectively, but in compensation, Ross's relative disregard of the English political context for Morris's ideas in favor of more internationalist, theoretical readings emphasizes their internal coherence and intellectual force. Communal Luxury deepens our understanding of Britain's "socialist imaginary" through its suggestive account of its affinities with other European revolutionary movements.

Ross's book has stirred much interest, including a special feature in the Journal of William Morris Studies (21, no. 4 [2016]), in which three critics offer insights on its perspectives. In "Liberation Ecologies, circa 1871," Elizabeth Carolyn Miller finds Ross's study of the Commune distinctive in considering the communal associations that predated and prepared for the eventual political uprising and for its portrayal of Morris as well attuned to the pragmatic political currents of his day. She identifies the ecological strand of Morris's and Kropotkin's thought, preluded in each case by travel to an allegedly more primitive preindustrial culture (Iceland and Finland, respectively), where both men "learn[ed] from the non-human world [that] that which seemed fixed is, in reality, utterly unstable" (p. 14). In the end, one can view the Commune as anticipatory of recent regional movements for environmental justice and its ideal of "communal luxury"--plenitude without excess--as a continuing inspiration today.

In "The Stones in the Garden," Matthew Beaumont ruminates on a metaphor that Morris used in an 1871 letter to his wife: the loose stones at the edge of a lava field are like his "idea of a half-ruined Paris barricade" (Norman Kelvin, ed., The Collected Letters of William Morris [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984], 1:146). Beaumont notes that Morris's sojourn in Iceland suggested the value of history in prompting hope for the future, but only if wrested from attempts to suppress its revolutionary meanings. Morris's veneration for the Commune embodied his search for an anticipatory "concrete Utopia," defined by the Marxist philosopher Ernest Bloch as a "methodical organ for the new" (JWMS 21.4: 21). Beaumont also points out that for Morris, an egalitarian society must also he pastoral: that the lava field Morris describes also lay near a garden may suggest the different, possibly contradictory "warm and cold currents" of his later revolutionary imagination.

In "Reclaiming the Commune, Reclaiming William Morris ... Again," Michelle Weinroth notes approvingly that Ross's text "gives Communard artisans pride of place: shoemakers, box-makers, fabric designers, porters, etc." Nonetheless, she argues that Communal Luxury is also "an Utopian romance dressed in the apparel of an unorthodox history of ideas" (p. 24) and offers a Marxist critique of Ross's somewhat anarcho-leaning encomium as avoiding Nowhere's radical elimination of a capitalist marketplace. Responding to the Communards' destruction of the statue of Napoleon in the Place Vendome, she notes, "It is not an aesthetic of space ... which must be altered, but a condition of labor" (p. 28); as Morris contended, within a competitive system, "luxury" and dearth are now inextricably linked. Weinroth also points to the need to confront the brutal repression that ended the Commune, finding connection between the tragic loss of life and Morris's pained recognition of the necessary delays of history, for "without the defeats of past times we should now have no hope of final victory" ("Why We Celebrate the Commune of Paris," Commonweal 19 [March 1887]: 89-90). In the end, the fact that a book on the imaginative legacy of the Paris Commune should evoke such engaged responses speaks well for the intellectual subtlety and courage of the Commune's nineteenth-century advocates, as well as to the anxieties that the spectacle of a suppressed populist uprising evokes in those who advocate for significant social change.

In "The Newspaper and the Novel: William Morris's News from Nowhere in Commonweal" (Victorian Periodicals Review 50, no. 1 [2016]), Christine Marie Woody observes that the serialization of Morris's Utopia in a newspaper designed to critique the mainstream press "provides an opportunity to reflect on, and deconstruct, the very news that Commonweal seeks to disseminate" (p. 139). Woody demonstrates that Commonweal's "Notes on News" effectively mocks and undercuts the mainstream press, that the paper's reliance on named correspondents contrasts with the impersonality of news from a "telegraphic agency," and that Commonweal fostered community through its appeal to a socialist audience and use of a collective "we" voice. In the tradition of such post-Althusserian News from Nowhere critics as Tony Pinkney, she nonetheless finds inherent contradictions in its attempt to function in a capitalist world: the newspaper's criticisms of the African explorer Henry Stanley ultimately suggest that Morris's narrator Guest is similarly a destabilizing intruder; Commonweal's political reportage confirms the sad news that "Nowhere" does not exist; and the selling of copies of the newspaper for a penny contradicts its declared anticapitalist ethos.

Readers may wonder how Morris should have managed a newspaper in a still-capitalist world--by withholding honest news of the struggles of socialism or distributing copies without cost, as sheer donor-sponsored philanthropy? Moreover, Woody's claim that in Nowhere all newspapers are represented as "irredeemably capitalist" is by my reading misleading; pointedly, it is the informal socialist newssheets--the Commonweals--that spring up in a time of revolutionary chaos to interpret and direct the "great change" and thus enable revolution (Collected Works of William Morris, ed. May Morris [London: Longmans, 1912], chapter 17, pp. 103-30). Nonetheless Woody's article provides insights into the newspaper's meaningful juxtapositions of content as well as a cautionary identification of the tensions inherent in operating within a commodity marketplace.

In "From the Place Vendome to Trafalgar Square: Imperialism and Counter-Hegemony in the 1880s Romance Revival" (Key Words 14 [2016]), Owen Holland follows Ross in placing in its European and pansocialist context the scene in News from Nowhere in which Dick and Guest first enter Trafalgar Square, which has now been transformed into an orchard. The statue of Nelson that stood in its central plaza in Morris's time has disappeared altogether, which as mentioned, overtly echoes the Communards' destruction of the statue of Napoleon in the Place Vendome. Such tributes to English socialism's international ties "complicate critical judgments of the nationally delimited scope of [Morris's] utopianism" (p. 102). Moreover, Holland observes that "The Great Change" enacts a reversal of the many reactionary and paranoid foreign-invasion fantasies prominent in the 1870s and 1880s, among them G. T. Chesney's The Battle of Dorking, H. F. Lester's The Taking of Dover, and "Grip's" How John Bull Lost London; or, the Capture of the Channel Tunnel. Instead, Morris reemploys the romance form for Utopian socialist ends, thereby "making a propagandistic intervention into the cultural politics of the romance revival" (p. 113).

Two chapters in Utopias and Dystopias in the Fiction ofH. G. Wells and William Morris: Landscape and Space, ed. Emelyne Godfrey (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), offer perceptive commentaries on News from Nowhere. In "Imaginary Hindsight: Contemporary History in William Morris and H. G. Wells," Helen Kingstone argues that Victorian reluctance to chronicle contemporary history prompted the use of the time-travel form, permitting a judgment of nineteenth-century society from an allegedly future, and thus authoritative, vantage point. Yet as Kingstone points out, the futurist retrospective form came with narrative as well as literal complications. In Wells's "A Story of the Days to Come," for example, the narrator must address both present-day and imagined future readers; and Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward creates a radical but implausible alienation by situating both narrator and protagonist in the future. Likewise, although the Utopians of News from Nowhere possess much hindsight on the past, it is instead the visitor from 1890 who helps narrate its account of the problematic "Great Change," reflecting the actual uncertainties of the future. Kingstone concludes that although Morris and Wells attempted to expand the definition of contemporary history writing, their Utopias--"set in a twenty-first century that is notably unlike our own--have become alternative histories" (p. 54).

In "All Good Earthly Things Are in Utopia Also': Familiarity and Irony in the Better Worlds of Morris and Wells," Ben Carver identifies common structural features in Morris's News and Wells's The Time Machine and A Modern Utopia. Each author sets his Utopia within the familiar, domesticated space inhabited by his readers, or in the words of a Wells narrator, "All good earthly things are in Utopia also" (p. 77). Time travel can disrupt historical memory, however, a problem alleviated by a return to familiar locations, as when upon entering Trafalgar Square, Morris's characters are overwhelmed by memories of the 1887 police attacks of Bloody Sunday and the conflicts leading to "The Great Change." Pointedly, however, the narrators of News from Nowhere and A Modern Utopia are forcibly ejected from the imagined new societies, reflecting the limitations of Utopian desire and the uncertain possibilities for its realization.

In "The Individual and the Violence of History: The Froissart Poems of William Morris's The Defence of Guenevere and Walter Benjamin's 'Theses on the Philosophy of History,'" (Journal of William Morris Studies 21, no. 4 [2016]), Celia Lewis notes parallels between Benjamin's view of history as trace--"The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant ... and is never seen again"--and Morris's enactments of history and myth in his first volume of poetry. Lewis suggests that in permitting Arthur's queen to narrate her own, alternate history, Morris "invites his readers to consider the troubling prospect of falsely reported narratives" (p. 37). Such a hermeneutics of suspicion is confirmed in the volume's Froissartian poems, such as "Sir Peter Harpdon's End" and "The Haystack in the Floods," whose historically unnamed protagonists and tragic endings reflect the incapacity of official histories to capture the vulnerability of individuals in the face of violence.

In "The Old Norse Sagas and William Morris's Ideal of Literal Translation" (Review of English Studies 67, no. 279 [2016]), Ian Felce extends earlier studies of Morris's translation practices by Karl Litzenberg, Gary Aho, Marcus Waithe, James Barribeau, and others to probe the question of Morris's motivations in selecting (and even coining) language forms with medieval roots beyond the capacity of many modern readers to enjoy. Felce expertly explains Morris's attempts to employ not only the words of his source text but the principles of their craft, using both drottvaett verse forms and kennings, a form of circumlocutory metaphor that even for medieval Icelanders would have required interpretation. Felce cites two contrasting Morris translations of the Eyrbyggia Saga, one an early, sentimental, and conventional version and a later, more literal, convoluted, and intricate rendition of the same passage. For this reader, although the later passage was indeed difficult, it possessed a haunting, powerful rhythm and rough poignancy lacking in the more polished version.

Using translation-theoretical distinctions between domesticating and foreignizing renditions, Felce compares Morris's efforts to "the meeting of two distant relatives at a guesthouse somewhere between the modern traveler's crumbling home and his ancient cousin's native country" (p. 236). Nonetheless, the reception of these original creations was blocked by the fact that, whereas Morris hoped that his audience "would see the related and familiar, they may more often have simply seen the alien" (p. 233). This is a moving article in demonstrating Morris's protracted and indeed brilliant efforts to recreate the intricate forms employed by Norse skalds within another, alternative, tongue. Perhaps even as the Utopia of Nowhere has not yet arrived, Morris's saga translations similarly await the possibility of future, more philologically acute readers.

In "William Morris: An Annotated Bibliography 2012-2013" (Journal of William Morris Studies 21, no. 4 [2016]), David and Sheila Latham provide 151 annotated entries with an index of contributors. A historicist impulse prompted me to check the number of entries in Lathams' prior bibliography for 2010-2011: 188. The order of subject preferences has remained, however, with the "decorative arts" and "literature" attracting the greatest number of contributions, trailed by "politics" and "book design." Even so, there may be shifts in emphasis, as an interest in Morris as ecosocialist permeates every category, and News from Nowhere and Utopia receive repeated attention under "literature" as well as "politics." As before, the Lathams' comprehensive bibliographies provide suggestions for what readers would likely otherwise miss; they are especially valuable in gathering foreign publications and for guiding specialists in a given field to citations in entirely different areas. The Lathams' book-length An Annotated Critical Bibliography of William Morris appeared in 1991, so perhaps one may hope for a twenty-five-year update before too long.

And finally, the William Morris Archive continues apace, as this year, among other items, we have added Peter Wright's comprehensive historical and critical introduction to Sigurd the Volsung, "From Edda to Epic: How Morris Refashioned the Volsung Story, and the Manner of Its Telling," as well as new Morris socialist essays, links to relevant materials in the Socialist League Archive in Amsterdam, and images of Morris's drafts of The Story of the Glittering Plain, The Well at the World's End, and News from Nowhere.

In summary, during 2016 critics have reevaluated the nature of Pre-Raphaelitism and drawn attention to several lesser-known associates of the Pre-Raphaelites, such as Philip Marston and Arthur O'Shaughnessy. This has also been an especially favorable year for William Morris criticism, with many commentaries on the political implications of his literary works. Next year we will have the pleasure of reviewing an excellent new biography of Morris, as well as scholarly editions and articles on several Pre-Raphaelite poets.
COPYRIGHT 2017 West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Boos, Florence
Publication:Victorian Poetry
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Sep 22, 2017
Words:4546
Previous Article:Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Next Article:Tennyson.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters