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Title: Poetry and posies : the poetics of the family magazine, 1840-1860
Author: Rossiter, Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2666 4526
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis examines how the poetry published by family magazines of the early Victorian period demonstrates both the conservative influence of contemporary poetics upon popular verse and the extent of resistance to such influence. It argues that academic and domestic discourses of the first quarter of the nineteenth century exclude the social and political from their definitions of 'true poetry' and that this process of exclusion is evident in the poetics of magazines intended for a family readership. It also contends that the similarities between poems appearing in these magazines and overtly political poetry indicates both how political poetry is constrained by contemporary poetics and how apparently conventional poems may resist such constraint through limited social and political reference. The first chapter discusses the frequent use of floral imagery in the poetry published in family magazines and locates such imagery in the context of domestic ideology and in relation to other forms of contemporary floral representation. It suggests how otherwise conventional poems may draw attention to the constraints of poetic convention obliquely, representing poetic conformity as incoherent. Subsequent chapters explore the extent to which contemporary poetics modifies Romantic conceptions of the poet's role by excluding the expression of social or political ideas from its definitions of poetry. Firstly, academic writing is examined through the work of John Stuart Mill and John Keble. Here it is argued that despite their distinct Utilitarian and Christian philosophies their writings on poetry each establish a view of poetry as a closely regulated discourse that distances the poet from society and therefore precludes the possibility of a legitimate popular poetry. Secondly, Mary Ann Stodart is considered as an example of a writer on domestic matters. It is argued here that she identifies poetry as a particularly powerful and subversive genre antithetical to the maintenance of social stability. Thirdly, articles on poets and poetry taken from a selection of family magazines of the period are examined in order to demonstrate the extent to which the ideas discussed by Mill, Keble and Stodart are represented in the poetic of these periodicals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Magazines; Victorian; Popular verse; Poets