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The Victorian Poet and His Readers: The Strange Case of Tennyson’s «The Princess»

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Magdalena Pypeć

The author follows the interpretative pursuits of nineteenth-century readers and analyses Tennyson’s The Princess through the prism of their critical ideas. She analyses Tennyson’s reconsideration of gender binaries and women’s rights as well as the poem’s reliance on the aesthetics of the grotesque and its metapoetic games. The book rests on the premise that literature cannot be studied in isolation from its immediate socio-historical context. As such, poetry becomes an outcome of social and cultural negotiations, moving «in a strange diagonal» between the author and his public.
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Chapter One: Victorian Poetics – A Context for Tennyson and The Princess

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Chapter One:  Victorian Poetics – A Context for Tennyson and The Princess

“Half a crown,” said Wegg, meditating. “Yes. (It ain’t much, sir.) Half a crown.”“Per week, you know.”

“Per week. Yes. As to the amount of strain upon the intellect, now. Was you thinking at all of poetry?” Mr Wegg inquired, musing.

“Would it come dearer?” Mr Boffin asked.

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