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Posts Tagged ‘victorian literature’

From Lord Byron’s Don Juan:

Than I resign thine image, oh, my fair!
Or think of any thing excepting thee;
A mind diseased no remedy can physic
(Here the ship gave a lurch, and he grew sea-sick).

“Sooner shall heaven kiss earth (here he fell sicker),
Oh, Julia! what is every other woe?
(For God’s sake let me have a glass of liquor;
Pedro, Battista, help me down below.)
Julia, my love! (you rascal, Pedro, quicker) –
Oh, Julia! (this curst vessel pitches so) –
Belovéd Julia, hear me still beseeching!”
(Here he grew inarticulate with retching.)

I found this very funny, especially considering there was a great debate in the nineteenth century about the proper subject matter in poetry: was the own era worthy enough of poetry, or should a poet retell the stories of the Classics? Poets like Ruskin, Carlyle, and Patmore saw the poet as a prophet, whose poetry entailed hidden truths and divine messages, so poetry was crucial for a proper and developed society. I think from the above excerpt you might know Byron’s opinion on a poet’s subject matter! You can read all of Don Juan here, it’s a great poem, and very readable and entertaining.

Also for you smokers out there: J.M. Barrie writes 13 chapters on the art of smoking. It’s really quite a good read!

Lastly Serial Sensation is publishing Mrs. Henry Woods’ East Lynne in small bits every week, so you can read it as a series, as it appeared in Victorian newspapers.

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Why do heroines die in classic fiction? BBC had doctors analyse the death of Sense and Sensibility’s Marianne, Wuthering Heights’s Catherine, and Bleak House’s Lady Dedlock. Fun!

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7060533.stm

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