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Romantic Poetry and Victorian Nonsense Poetry: Some Directions of Travel

Swaab, PA; (2019) Romantic Poetry and Victorian Nonsense Poetry: Some Directions of Travel. Romanticism , 25 (1) pp. 90-102. 10.3366/rom.2019.0404. Green open access

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Abstract

This essay explores links between Victorian nonsense poetry and poetry of the Romantic period, with a focus on narratives of quest, voyaging and escape. It discusses brief instances from various writers of the two periods and moves on to a more developed comparison between Wordsworth and Edward Lear, centring on ‘The Blind Highland Boy’. The comparison between periods leads to an argument that self-critique and scepticism were quite robustly in place from the start in the romantic period, and that obstacles to sense could at times be experienced not just as perplexity but as enjoyment shared with an audience. It also points to a further appreciation of some of the less canonical works by the most canonical writers, and suggests a tradition in which romantic aspiration was often coolly linked to a sense of absurdity.

Type: Article
Title: Romantic Poetry and Victorian Nonsense Poetry: Some Directions of Travel
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3366/rom.2019.0404
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3366/rom.2019.0404
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: romanticism, nonsense poetry, quests, voyages, romantic Victorianism Romantic Poetry and Victorian Nonsense Poetry: Some Directions of Travel
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10037787
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