A Bounded Field: Situating Victorian Poetry in the Literary Landscape

Gray, Erik I.

The greatest development in the field of Victorian poetry studies over the past
fifteen years has been the renewal of interest in women poets, both those who were already familiar but not yet sufficiently acknowledged, like Christina Rossetti, and those who had been all but forgotten by twentieth-century readers. Among the latter perhaps the most intriguing “newcomer” is Michael Field, the pen-name and poetic persona used by Katherine Bradley and her niece Edith Cooper. Field had already begun to draw the attention of queer criticism in the 1980s,1 but her life and poetry were brought to the notice of most critics of Victorian poetry only with the publication in 1992 of Angela Leighton’s crucial study Victorian Women Poets: Writing Against the Heart.2 I wish to look briefly at the decade of criticism that has followed, which shows trends that are typical of the study both of Victorian women’s poetry and of Victorian poetry as a whole, in order to suggest what direction these studies may take in the future.



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Victorian Poetry

More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
West Virginia University Press
Published Here
May 18, 2015