The Gothic Forms of Victorian Poetry (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture) (Hardcover)
A lonely damsel imprisoned within a castle or convent cell. The eavesdropping of a prisoner next door. The framed image of a woman with a sinister past. These familiar tropes from 1790s novels and tales exploded onto the English literary scene in 'low-brow' titles of Gothic romance. Surprisingly, however, they also re-emerged as features of major Victorian poems from the 1830s to 1870s. Such signature tropes -- inquisitional overhearing; female confinement and the damsel in distress; supernatural switches between living and dead bodies -- were transfigured into poetic forms that we recognise and teach today as canonically Victorian. The Gothic Forms of Victorian Poetry identifies a poetics of Gothic enclosure constitutive of high Victorian poetry that came to define key nineteenth-century poetic forms, from the dramatic monologue, to women's sonnet sequences and metasonnets, to Pre-Raphaelite picture poems.
About the Author
Olivia Loksing Moy is Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York, Lehman College.