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Landor, Clough, and European Republicanism

  • Stephanie Kuduk Weiner
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)

Abstract

In ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound describes the middle of the nineteenth century as ‘[t]he period when England no longer had room for, or welcomed her best writers.’ Walter Savage Landor and Robert Browning were in Italy, Pound writes, and Alfred Tennyson’s poems were ‘the official literature of England.’1 Arthur Hugh Clough, too, had left his post at Oxford out of religious scruples and lived for stretches of time in Rome and, later, Venice, where he composed two of his most important works, Amours de Voyage (1858) and Dipsychus (1865). Pound’s formulation suggests that an affinity with Italy bore some intrinsic relation to the ‘best’ poetry of those years, that it marked an alienation from an ossified and narrow-minded ‘official’ culture. In the case of Landor and Clough— the two poets on whom this chapter concentrates—a crucial element of their affinity with Italy lay in their enthusiastic support of its republican movement. A more moderate support also characterized Browning’s connection, and inspired a number of artists Pound does not discuss to create works sympathetic to republicanism, among them Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Casa Guidi Windows (1851); Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnets ‘At the Sun-Rise in 1848,’ ‘Vox Ecclesiae, Vox Christi,’ ‘The Staircase of Notre Dame, Paris,’ and ‘Near Brussels—A Half-way Pause’ and his dramatic monologue ‘A Last Confession (Regno Lombardo-Veneto, 1848)’ (all 1848); William Holman Hunt’s painting (the first he exhibited as a Pre-Raphaelite) Rienzi Vowing to Obtain Justice (1848–49); and Sydney Dobell’s ‘spasmodic’ debut The Roman: A Dramatic Poem (1850).

Keywords

Republican Politics Paradise Lost English Poetry Public Moralist French Republic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934), p. 120.Google Scholar
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  40. 105.
    Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971–2001 (New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux: 2002), p. 355.Google Scholar

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© Stephanie Kuduk Weiner 2005

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