Tales of the Female Lover: The Poetics of Romantic Desire in P. J. Harvey’s To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire?
P.J. Harvey dwells on the darker end of the independent rock spectrum, testifying both to a dark Romantic sensibility and to a Gothic mindset. The Romantic dimension of her music has remained unchartered, leaving a critical gap that seems all the more startling as the love motif features high in Harvey’s repertoire, notably on the albums To Bring You My Love (1995) and Is This Desire? (1998), her two odysseys of desire and self-damnation. This chapter analyzes the interplay between the modalities of love as agony on Harvey’s two albums and in English Romantic poetry. The aim of this chapter is to probe Harvey’s independent rock idiolect for a Romantic scope by examining its structural and aesthetic intersections with Romanticism.