The Smasmodic Career of Sydney Dobell opens up a tantalizing but neglected twenty-year period of British literary history in the mid-Victorian era. Dobell, one of the few poetic theorists of his day, fell victim to a literary hoax that robbed him of his rightful place as an important transition figure between Romantic and Victorian poetry. Contents: A Footnote in Literary History; Mother Church and Child Bride; Father and Master; Liberty and Power: The Roman; Balder: Power and Horror; Downfall at Edinburgh; Last Attempts: Sonnets on the WaroEngland in Time of War; Dobell's Theory of Poetry: In Defense of Spasmodism; A Matter of Influence.
Martha Westwater is Professor of English at Mount St. Vincent University.
A footnote in literary history; Mother Church and child bride; Father and master; Liberty and power - The Roman; Balder - power and horror; Downfall at Edinburgh; Last attempts - sonnets on the war, England in time of war; Dobell's theory of poetry - in defence of spasmodism; A matter of influence.