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Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart$
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Kirstie Blair

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273942

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273942.001.0001

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‘Raving of dead men’s dust and beating hearts’: Tennyson and the Pathological Heart

‘Raving of dead men’s dust and beating hearts’: Tennyson and the Pathological Heart

Chapter:
(p.181) 5 ‘Raving of dead men’s dust and beating hearts’: Tennyson and the Pathological Heart
Source:
Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart
Author(s):

Kirstie Blair (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273942.003.0006

This chapter examines Tennyson's poetics in detail, arguing that they constitute the most important intervention in the poetic culture of the heart. It shows how Hallam's death from a heart-related complaint influences the use of heart metaphor in In Memoriam, a poem which repeatedly references the heart, and where the steady rhythmic beat can be interpreted as the pulse. It then turns to Maud, which is read as a sustained and deliberate investigation of the pathological heart, as the speaker takes on all the characteristics of a medical case-study into heart disease.

Keywords:   Tennyson, Hallam, In Memoriam, Maud, medical case-study

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