The Realms Of Verse 1830-1870: English Poetry in a Time of Nation-Building Paperback – 13 Jan 2000
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Review from previous edition the best general book of criticism on Victorian poetry altogether in the last decade . . . clearly aimed at non-specialists and specialists alike. (Alison Hickey, Essays in Criticism)
Reynolds is an exceptionally incisive and lucid critic, keenly attentive to formal dynamics . . . but also deft in summarizing the distinctive political engagements of each poet . . . This is a politics of form, as Reynolds well knows, very different from that which prevails in most criticism. Indeed, his coolly polemical introduction points out the pitfalls of the ubiquitous literary-critical "politicizing" of human experience generally . . . This is an extremely important study, one of the best I know on the large ambitions of Victorian poetry. (James Eli Adams, Studies in English Literature)
The best critics, like the best poets (in Browning's words) "impart the gift of seeing to the rest". Reynolds has this gift of seeing and imparting. (Daniel Karlin, Times Literary Supplement)
How the insides of literary works relate to what's going on outside is a question of famous nicety, and Reynolds is painstakingly aware of the intricacies: indeed his awareness of them is possibly the most striking thing about the book, making it a kind of primer in the whole rich problem . . . Reynolds is a critic of great gifts; the book is full of passages beautifully read. (Seamus Perry, Tennyson Research Bulletin)
Victorian scholars will never be able to read familiar poems like 'Aurora Leigh' and 'Andrea del Sarto' the same way again. (Virginia Quarterly Review)
Reynolds sets a high standard for the new century's work in our area of literary studies. May he find able emulators soon. (Herbert Tucker, Victorian Studies)
About the Author
Matthew Reynolds is a Fellow and Tutor in English at St. Anne's College, Oxford.