This challenging and important study, which examines a range of canonical and less well-known writers, is an innovative reassessment of late Victorian literature in its relation to visionary Romanticism.
It examines six late Victorian writers - Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, Eugene Lee-Hamilton, Theodore Watts-Dunton and Thomas Hardy - to reveal their commitment to a Romantic visionary tradition which surfaces towards the end of the nineteenth century in response to the threat of a growing materialism. Offering detailed and imaginative readings of both poetry and prose, Second Sight shows the different ways in which late Victorian writers move beyond materiality, though without losing a commitment to it, to explore the mysterious relation between the seen and the unseen.
A major re-evaluation of the post-Romantic visionary imagination, with implications for our understanding of literary modernism, Second Sight will be required reading for scholars interested in the literature of the late Victorian period. -- .
Catherine Maxwell is Reader in Victorian Literature at Queen Mary, University of London -- .
Acknowledgements A note on the texts Introduction 1. 'An aching pulse of melodies': Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poetic magnetism 2. 'Walter Pater's 'strange veil of sight' 3. Of Venus, vagueness, and vision: Vernon Lee, Eugene Lee-Hamilton, and 'the spell of the fragment' 4. Theodore Watts-Dunton's Aylwin and the reduplications of Romanticism 5. Thomas Hardy's poetry: 'the intenser stare of the mind' References Index -- .