The Pre-Raphaelite Qualities of Rosamond

Anthony H. Harrison, Professor of English, North Carolina State University

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Note 1, Chapter 2, of the author's Swinburne's Medievalism-A Study in Victorian Love Poetry which Louisiana State University Press published in 1979. It has been included in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.


On the Pre-Raphaelite qualities of Rosamond, see Philip Henderson, Swinburne: Portrait of a Poet (New York, 1974), 49. For the best analysis of the play and the source of most succeeding commentaries, see Jeunesse, 235-45. The most useful additions to Lafourcade's discussion, all of them too brief to do the play justice, appear in: Samuel Chew, Swinburne (Boston, 1929), 188-90; Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony (London,1933), 218-19; and Stevenson, The Pre-Raphaelite Poets, 196-98. Harold Nicolson was the first to insist upon Rosamond's merits and was understandably perplexed that it should have "escaped the attention, or even the hostility, of contemporary criticism" (Swinburne [London, 1926], 66). Chastelard (discussed by Praz, 219-23) has begun to receive the critical attention it deserves, especially in two studies that build upon Lafourcade's standard analysis (Jeunesse, 261-83>. These are Curtis Dahl, "Swinburne's Mary Stuart: A Reading of Ronsard," Papers in English Language and Literature, I (1965), 39-49; and Gerald Kinneavy, "Character and Action in Swinburne's Chastelard," Victorian Poetry, V ( 1967),31 -36.


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