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Charles Algernon Swinburne (1837-1909)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the British poet Charles Algernon Swinburne, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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Introduction & Biography

The Swinburne Project. Includes a short biography of Swinburne and text for all six volumes of his published poetry, with original page facsimiles also available. A peer-reviewed online project, edited by Prof. John A. Walsh.

"Algernon Charles Swinburne." An encyclopedia-type article on Swinburne, (unsigned but from a reliable publisher, professionally researched and edited) with text for some of his most famous poems. The Poetry Foundation.

"Algernon Charles Swinburne." Biography and essays on Swinburne's writing techniques and the Victorian cultural background. Also Victorian aesthetes and decadents. Victorian Web, ed. Prof. George P. Landow.

Louis, Margot. "Algernon Charles Swinburne." A substantial introduction to Swinburne from the Literary Encyclopedia [subscription service].


Literary Criticism

Baird, Julian "Swinburne, Sade, and Blake: The Pleasure-Pain Paradox." Victorian Poetry 9, 1/2 (Spring/Summer 1971) pp 49-75 [free at jstor].

Elliott, Philip L. "No Friends of Roses: Tennyson, Swinburne, and the Sad Young Man." On the literary influence of Swinburne and Tennyson upon each other. Victorian Poetry 35, 1 (Spring 1996) pp 95-99 [free at jstor].

Harrison, Anthony H. Swinburne's Medievalism: A Study in Victorian Love Poetry. Complete book by an outstanding Swinburne commentator, available at the Victorian Web. Chapters include Swinburne and Courtly Love; Rosamond and Chastelard: Courtly Love and Swinburne's Religion of Beauty; Poems and Ballads, First Series: Historicity and Erotic Aestheticism; Queen Yseult: Prelude to Epic; Tristram of Lyonesse: Visionary and Courtly Epic; Receptivity and Organicism in Tristram; The Tale of Balen: Medievalism and Tragedy.

Margot, Louis K. "Proserpine and Pessimism: Goddesses of Death, Life, and Language from Swinburne to Wharton." Modern Philology 96, 3 (Feb. 1999) pp 312-46 [free at jstor].

McGann, Jerome J. "'Ave atque Vale': An Introduction to Swinburne." Victorian Poetry 9, 1/2 (Spring/Summer 1971) pp 145-63 [free at jstor].

McSweeney, Kerry. "Swinburne's Poems and Ballads (1866)." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 11, 4 (Autumn 1971) pp 671-85 [free at jstor].

Morgan, Thais E. "Swinburne's Dramatic Monologues: Sex and Ideology." Victorian Poetry 22, 2, The Dramatic "I" Poem (Summer, 1984), pp. 175-195 [jstor].

Pease, Allison. "Questionable Figures: Swinburne's Poems and Ballads." Pease considers art and obscenity in Swinburne's Poems and Ballads. Victorian Poetry 35, 1 (Spring 1996) [free at jstor].

Zonana, Joyce. "Swinburne's Sappho: The Muse as Sister-Goddess." Victorian Poetry 28, 1 (Spring 1990) pp 39-50 [free at jstor].

"The Rossettis, William Morris, Swinburne, and Others." Quite old literary criticism, from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature (1907-21)

Eliot, T.S. "Swinburne as Poet." From The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism 1922.


The Pre-Raphaelites

"Pre-Raphaelites." A series of articles devoted to the Pre-Raphaelites from The Victorian Web, an outstanding web site devoted to Victorian literature. The site was developed by Professor George Landow of Brown University, a scholarly pioneer of the internet.

"The Pre-Raphaelites." A clear and accurate introduction to the visual art of the Pre-Raphaelites, their supporters and social context, their subsequent shift of focus to an aesthetic of beauty for its own sake, and ultimately to the Arts and Crafts movement of the mid-1880s. From the Metropolitan Museum.

The Rossetti Archive. An important and long-standing internet project on Dante Gabriel Rossetti's paintings and poetry. The archive was developed under the direction of Professor Jerome McGann at the University at Virginia.

The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, edited by David Latham, York University, Toronto. The web site for a journal that covers Pre-Raphaelite, aesthetic, and decadent art, culture, and literature, includes access to its extensive archive of articles (first page of articles only).

"The Pre-Raphaelite Critic." An extensive list of magazine and newspaper articles dealing with Pre-Raphaelite literature and art from 1846-1900, with links to the etexts.


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