Victorian Poetry: Tennyson at Two Hundred

The Spring issue of Victorian Poetry is out: “Tennyson at Two Hundred,” guest-edited by Chip Tucker. Wow, this is an incredible set of essays! Jim Nohrnberg’s 50 pages on “Ulysses” and Columbus and Erik Gray’s illuminating consideration of error in “The Lady of Shalott” are standout pieces for me so far.

From Tucker’s introduction:

“And now, on our guest-editorial terrace here, it is 2009 already, and the anniversary is Tennyson’s own. We bring in tribute, and with thanks to the especially hospitable accommodation afforded by this journal’s real editors, a full set of essays spanning an exceptionally long and distinguished poetic career, by unusually divers hands. We cheer the phosphorescence of rising stars in the field (Barton, Gray, Ranum), conjoined with the steady glow —hesperescence? see In Memoriam CXXI—of long established Tennysonians (Peltason, Shaw). Scholars better known as expert in other areas of Victorian literature and culture (Maxwell, Patten, Peterson, Taylor) affirm the Laureate’s centrality, and his eccentricity too, with a species of authority that eludes us who are lifetime acolytes. Graduate students (Hsiao, McCarthy, Ruderman, Tate) bring encouraging news from the fronts of current research, including both the retrieval of newly adduced historical contexts and the ongoing application of that no less basic research we call close reading. It is a particular honor to hail, in James Nohrnberg and William Pritchard, two distinguished visitors from elsewhere in the system of English studies: when such comets swim into our ken, they not only by their angle of vision shed new light on the heritage we keep, but also by their embassage uniquely affirm its value.”

Project MUSE link here.


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