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Amorous AestheticsIntellectual Love in Romantic Poetry and Poetics, 1788-1853$
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Seth T. Reno

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940834

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940834.001.0001

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Tennyson, Arnold, and the Victorians The Legacy of Romantic Love

Tennyson, Arnold, and the Victorians The Legacy of Romantic Love

(p.192) Chapter Five Tennyson, Arnold, and the Victorians The Legacy of Romantic Love
Amorous Aesthetics

Seth T. Reno

Liverpool University Press

This final chapter examines the immediate afterlife of Romantic love. Victorian poets such as Alfred Tennyson and Matthew Arnold were both intrigued by and skeptical of love as a concept distinct from sexuality and ideology. Between 1830 and 1853, these poets experimented with, but eventually abandoned, the Romantics’ notion of love as a manifestation of idealism. While Romantic love continued to influence poets well into the nineteenth century, it became increasingly characterized as idealist and thus escapist: love eventually became divided from its critical and aesthetic valences, leading to a marginalization of love in discussions of Romanticism. The early poetry of Tennyson and Arnold illustrates the Victorian link between the preeminence of intellectual love in Romantic poetry and its critique and eventual dismissal in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   Alfred Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Victorian, T.S. Eliot, Love

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