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Title: The poetry of Ernest Jones : myth, song, and the 'mighty mind'
Author: Rennie, Simon
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis studies the poetry of Ernest Charles Jones (1819-69) from 1840 to 1860. One of its aims is to cast further light on the critically neglected area of Chartist poetry, and to investigate the social, political, and aesthetic implications of poetry whose explicit function is that of propaganda or polemic. Aside from offering close analysis of many poems which have not been studied before, this thesis presents previously unlisted Jones poems and, most importantly, a complete pseudonymous poetry collection. Study of original manuscripts has given significant insight into Jones’s process of poetic revision and some of his German-language poetry has been translated for the first time. My research covers Jones’s first publications in conservative newspapers shortly after his arrival in Great Britain from the German Duchy of Holstein, his early Chartist period, his imprisonment, and his years as the effective leader of Chartism. Although the six chapters are in broadly chronological order, each addresses a conceptual or contextual theme. These are, consecutively: poetic influence; mythopoeia; poet/reader relationships; prison writing; epic poetry; and poetic revision. Themes recurring throughout the study include the political and literary implications of republication and revision; the relationship between poetry and politics in the early Victorian period; the figure of the ‘gentleman radical’ and his relationship with his readership; the influence of Romantic legacies on mid-nineteenth-century radical poetics; links between Chartist and Irish Nationalist poetry; and intersections between radical and conservative imaginative conceptions of the past. Close analysis of the poetry is consistently related to its historical, political and cultural circumstances – the declarative and socially-engaged nature of Chartist poetry demands it be studied alongside its extra-literary contexts. What emerges from this study is a new version of Ernest Jones, a political poet whose exceptional complexity is here mapped for the first time in its fullness.
Supervisor: O'Gorman, Francis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available