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Title: A critical study of William Allingham with special reference to Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland
Author: O'Reilly, Alison Mary Patricia
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1958
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This thesis is a critical study of the work of William Allingham with special reference to his long, narrative poem Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland. The theme developed is that Allingham began as a poet of high promise and ended as one with a greatly diminished reputation. Reasons are offered for this decline, chief among them the failure of the Irish narrative poem to find a public, a failure which so affected the author that he was unable to consolidate his powers and remain constant to the kind of poetry best suited to his talents. Chapter I gives an account of his reputation as a lyrical poet from 1850-77 and includes, as well as my own appraisals, the critical opinions of Allingham's contemporaries and of some twentieth century writers. It concludes with a brief summary of the causes that contributed to his arrested development, which was apparent from 1865 onward. One of these causes, the fate of Laurence Bloomfield is made the motif of the next three chapters which include the details of its publication and reception, a full appraisal of it as a narrative poem, a discussion of its 'politics', an analysis of the reasons for its poor receptionand some treatment of it as a turning point in Allingham's career. Chapter V follows the poet's career from 1877 to the end, appraises some of the later work and developes the idea that the sub-editorship and finally the editorship of Fraser's distracted him from poetry and contributed further to his decline. The Conclusion asks and answers the question, 'Did Allingham succeed in his poetic aims?' and passes judgment on him as a poet. Throughout the study an attempt is made to show that certain weaknesses in Allingham's character made it possible for external circumstances to have such a detrimental influence on his career.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature