Victorian Poetry: Between two worlds

Update on September 8, 2016:
As of today this course is now fully booked and will not be able to take any further students. We apologize for any disappointment.

Barry Wood

In a famous essay in the 1860s Matthew Arnold suggested that “most of what passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry“.  A large claim, but Arnold believed that poetry must have “high seriousness”, “absolute sincerity” and an elevated moral tone to interpret life and to sustain and console.  In an age characterised by confidence and progress as well as conflict and contradiction, by certainties and doubts, great prosperity and appalling poverty, poetry needed to create new forms and styles and to develop themes and images which met the challenges of a rapidly changing society and culture.

Through close reading and discussion the course will focus attention on such poems as Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”, Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” and John Davidson’s “Thirty-Bob-A-Week” in order to explore the diversity of poetic response to the age; but participants will also be invited to present their own examples of the classic Victorian poem

Recommended reading: 

There are a number of anthologies of Victorian poetry but I recommend The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse”, edited by Christopher Ricks.

Texts for detailed discussion will be distributed during the course.  As preliminary reading Arnold’s essays “The Study of Poetry” , “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time and “Wordsworth” are recommended.

Day:        Thursday                Time:  10.30am-12.30

Date: 8 sessions with a mid term break at November 3rd: 6 October – 1 December 2016

St.Peter’s House
University Precinct
Oxford Road
Manchester  M13 9GH

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£85 8 14

Please send your booking form with an accompanying cheque to:
Barry Wood, 12 St. Brannock’s Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 0UP