Swinburne’s Style
An Experiment in Verse History

L. M. Kilbride

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

10 September 2018  •  232pp

ISBN: 978-1-781887-91-2 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95

ISBN: 978-1-781887-92-9 (paperback, 7 October 2020)  •  RRP £10.99, $14.99, €13.49

ISBN: 978-1-781887-93-6 (JSTOR ebook)

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Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History establishes Swinburne’s significance in the historical development of English poetry from 1865 to the present. Situating Swinburne on the cusp of modernism, it argues that Swinburne had no personal style because he possessed all styles. His mastery of traditional verse forms promoted a level of stylistic self-awareness which the next generation of poets could not sustain. If criticism to date has found Swinburne challenging, this is because his poetry challenges criticism.

Rather than making or remaking arguments for or against Swinburne's style, Kilbride begins from a forensic investigation of ‘the period ear’. Close analysis of primary works, manuscripts, reviews, obituaries, letters, manuals of prosody and other documents of Swinburne's own times attempt to reconstruct a context largely lost after the break with traditional verse-forms in the early twentieth century. From the powerful choral rhythms of Atalanta in Calydon, to the daring development of a unique form of ode in Erechtheus, the reader will encounter a Swinburne previously lost to us, but whose stylistic achievements are once again brought before our ears.

Laura McCormick Kilbride is Research Fellow in English at Peterhouse, Cambridge.

Reviews:

  • ‘An ambitious attempt to reckon with the poet’s achievement in verse... this book helps us to see Swinburne’s corpus for what it is: one of the most sophisticated formal projects in English verse, no matter what T. S. Eliot thought.’ — Justin A. Sider, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 63.2, 2020, 280-83
  • ‘Kilbride provides the reader with insightful textual analyses that shed new light on a selection of Swinburne’s poetical works, some of which are canonical, others still fairly neglected.’ — Giovanni Bassi, Modern Language Review 115.4, October 2020, 905-07 (full text online)
  • ‘Combines a practitioner’s delight in Swinburne’s verse textures with a scholar’s insight into poetic experiment in nineteenth-century Britain and a literary theorist’s investment in social critique.’ — Julia F. Saville, Victorian Studies 63.1, Autumn 2020, 152-53 (full text online)

Contents:

viii-x

Acknowledgements
Laura McCormick Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.3

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xi-xii

Note On Editions
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.4

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1-32

Introduction
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.5

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33-77

Chapter 1 ‘A Renouveau of English Prosody’: Metrical Set and Rhythmic Tension in Atalanta in Calydon
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.6

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78-117

Chapter 2 ‘Reverberate Words’: Repetition in Poems and Ballads
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.7

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118-149

Chapter 3 ‘Faithless Faith’: Outrunning the Couplet in Tristram of Lyonesse
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.8

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150-192

Chapter 4 ‘Lyrics For the Crusade’: Swinburne’s Odes
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.9

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193-201

Conclusion
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.10

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202-214

Bibliography
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.11

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215-220

Index
L. M. Kilbride
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkzwg.12

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Bibliography entry:

Kilbride, L. M., Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History (Legenda, 2018)

First footnote reference: 35 L. M. Kilbride, Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History (Legenda, 2018), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Kilbride, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Kilbride, L. M.. 2018. Swinburne’s Style: An Experiment in Verse History (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Kilbride 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Kilbride 2018: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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