on 15 June 2010
....for an exceptionally rich and generous volume of verse - generous in the ample selections of G.M. Hopkins, Hardy, Browning, etc, but also in the precious nuggets tucked in here and there, like the ghostly little poem by Andrew Lang. Christopher Ricks is an original and imaginative anthologist, but also meticulous and scholarly. The selection is based on strictly chronological criteria, all coming within Victoria's reign, and eloquently demonstrating that the choronology is often all the poets had in common; as Ricks points out in his brief but illuminating introduction, there was an extraordinary variety, ranging from dramatic monologues to nonsense, and we even have a lengthy extract from E.B. Browning's verse novel 'Aurora Leigh' - an excellent opportunity to sample it. All in all, another contribution to demolishing the anti-Victorian prejudice that led to so much vandalistic demolition in the last century. This was, after all, a time that saw a vast blossoming in literature and the arts - Baudelaire and Verlaine (who were evidently read by many of our Victorians), the great novels, symphonies, the luminous production of the impressionists - and there is much that is luminous and vital in this anthology, too.
on 24 January 2011
As an English Literature student this collection of Victorian poetry will be an invaluable book for my course and for study, as well as reading for pleasure. It contains 560 poems and even some of John Clare's poems which often seem to be omitted from the other collections and anthologies of Victorian poetry, even the excellent "Annotated Anthology". The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse is a wide ranging book with several poems which I have had difficulty finding. Excellent book for students and poetry lovers alike. In fact, it is a good book for anyone who enjoys reading.