Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry for the first time locates Hopkins and his work within the vital aesthetic and religious cultures of his youth. It introduces some of the most powerful cultural influences on his poetry as well as some of the most influential poets, from the well-known fellow convert John Henry Newman to the almost forgotten historian and poet Richard Dixon. From within the context of Hopkins' developing catholic sensibilities it assesses the impact of and his responses to issues of the time which related to his own religious and aesthetic perceptions, and provides a rich and intricate background against which to view both his early, often neglected poetry and the justly famous, idiosyncratic and deeply moving verse of his mature years. By detailing the influences Tractarian poetry had upon Hopkins' early work, and applying these to the productions of his later years, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry demonstrates how Hopkins' best known, mature works evolved from his upbringing in the Church of England and remained always indebted to this early culture.
It offers readings of his works in light of a new appraisal of the contexts from which Hopkins himself grew, providing a fresh approach to this most challenging and rewarding of poets.
Contents: Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction; Early Tractarian Poetry; Richard Watson Dixon; Christina Rossetti; Digby Mackworth Dolben; John Henry Newman; Hopkins' Tractarian Poetics; Notes; Bibliography; Index.