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Victorian Poetry, Drama and Miscellaneous Prose 1832–1890$
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Paul Turner

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122395

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122395.001.0001

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Four Lesser Poets

Four Lesser Poets

(p.96) 6. Four Lesser Poets
Victorian Poetry, Drama and Miscellaneous Prose 1832–1890

Paul Turner

Oxford University Press

Elizabeth Barrett Browning might reasonably have become Poet Laureate. The thoughts of her heart included passionate feelings about God, Nature, poetry, love, her spaniel Flush, and all victims of oppression. That was not, however, the feeling of Edward Fitzgerald, who made himself Browning’s enemy by his writings. He thought himself a good judge of poetry and art. With such self-confidence in criticism, he became a bold improver of other people’s poetry. Fitzgerald’s approach to translation was in keeping with his hatred of photographs, and his irreverence towards old masters. George Meredith, like Coventry Patmore, wrote philosophical poetry, but was better at human themes. If Patmore was above all the poet of nuptial happiness and grief, Meredith was the poet of the broken marriage.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poetry, Edward Fitzgerald, criticism, translation, George Meredith, Coventry Patmore

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