Swinburne's interest in the Roman de la Rose

Anthony H. Harrison, Professor of English, North Carolina State University


Note 3, Chapter 2, of the author's Swinburne's Medievalism: A Study in Victorian Love Poetry which Louisiana State University Press published in 1979. It has been included in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.

Swinburne's interest in the Roman is demonstrated in a letter to Seymour Kirkup dated August 11,1865, by Lang. He makes a point of observing that "in the sale of Lord Charlemont's library by auction, there was sold a MS. of the Roman de la Rose with many beautiful illuminations, given by the poet Baïf to Charles IX, and having also the autograph of Philippe Desportes" (Letters, 1, 128-29). His referring to Philippe Desportes and Jean-Antoine de Baïf, both troubadour poets, confirms his familiarity with medieval French verse.

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Last updated: June 2000