Algernon Charles Swinburne

Unofficial Laureate

Edited by Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista

Algernon Charles Swinburne


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9996-0
  • Pages: 252
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: Literature, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Literature: history & criticism, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Ireland, POETRY / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Poetry by individual poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets


Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), dramatist, novelist and critic, was late Victorian England's unofficial Poet Laureate. Swinburne was admired by his contemporaries for his technical brilliance, his facility with classical and medieval forms, and his courage in expressing his sensual, erotic imagination. He was one of the most important Victorian poets, the founding figure for British aestheticism, and the dominant influence for fin-de-siècle and many modernist poets. Now available in paperback, this collection of eleven new essays by leading international scholars offers a thorough revaluation of this fascinating and complex figure. It situates him in the light of current critical work on cosmopolitanism, politics, form, Victorian Hellenism, gender and sexuality, the arts, and aestheticism and its contested relation to literary modernism. The essays in this collection reassess Swinburne's work and reconstruct his vital and often provocative contribution to the Victorian cultural debate.


Candid, ambitious and sympathetic, this is a confident and often eloquent volume on a writer who keeps resisting the explanations that we are told best account for him. Immaculately edited, it earns its place among the best of modern writing in Algernon Charles Swinburne - poet and enigma.
Francis O'Gorman, Times Literary Supplement, Mischief and other minds, 10/01/2014

|It encourages those interested in Swinburne's work to read him in many different ways and take part in the effort of mapping his vast poetic and critical corpus.

, Yisrael Levin, English Literature in Transition 1880 - 1920, 2014

'The chapters provide an enriching blend of perspectives that, to varying degrees, pivot on the ways 'sexuality itself might help shape, inform, or condition style, poetics, and other aspects of literary practice'. The essays collected in Unofficial Laureate. will be of immense benefit to students, experts, and dilettantes of Swinburne. They are set to cast a long shadow, to galvanize and update Swinburne studies, reigniting the slow-burning interest in this underrated Victorian poet and his work.'
Kostas Boyiopoulos, Durham University


Introduction - Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista
I. Cultural discourse
1. Swinburne's French voice: cosmopolitanism and cultural mediation in aesthetic criticism - Stefano Evangelista
2. Swinburne's swimmers: from insular peace to the Anglo-Boer War - Julia F. Saville
3. Swinburne: a nineteenth-century Hellene? - Charlotte Ribeyrol
4. 'A juggler's trick'? Swinburne and journalism 1857-75 - Laurel Brake
II. Form
5. Metrical discipline: Algernon Swinburne on 'The Flogging-Block' - Yopie Prins
6. What goes around: Swinburne's A Century of Roundels - Herbert Tucker
7. Desire lines: Swinburne and lyric crisis - Marion Thain
III. Influence
8. 'Good Satan': the unlikely poetic affinity of Swinburne and Christina Rossetti - Dinah Roe
9. Parleying with Robert Browning: Swinburne's aestheticism, blasphemy, and the dramatic monologue - Sara Lyons
10. Whose muse? Sappho, Swinburne, and Amy Lowell - Sarah Parker
11. Atmosphere and absorption: Swinburne, Eliot, Drinkwater - Catherine Maxwell


Catherine Maxwell is Professor of Victorian Literature at Queen Mary, University of London|Stefano Evangelista is Fellow and Tutor in English at Trinity College, University of Oxford

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Edited by Catherine Maxwell, Stefano Evangelista

Paperback £16.99 / $27.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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