Andreas Capellanus' influence on Swinburne

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


Note 4, 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 infatuation, here and elsewhere, with beauty as the sole cause and sine qua non of love is perhaps a result, direct or indirect, of Andreas Capellanus' influence. As C. S. Lewis notes, for Capellanus in De Arte Honeste Amandi, the source of love "is visible beauty: so much so, that the blind are declared incapable of love, or, at least of entering upon love after they have become blind" (The Allegory of Love [London,1936],33).

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Last updated: June 2000