T. J. Wise and Poems and Ballads, First Series

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


Note 2, chapter 2, in 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.

Although T. J. Wise insists that the American edition of Poems and Ballads, First Series "was fully authorised," he confesses that its new title presents some difficulties. He reaches a conclusion different from my own, suggesting that "possibly the discussion raised by Laus Veneris . . . in London had awakened curiosity in the United States, and the publisher looked to excite a larger sale for his book by distinctly showing that the most notorious poem was not excluded from its pages" (A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne [London, 1919], 134). Even were this the case, Swinburne would very probably have concurred in such an advertisement, which would also have drawn attention to the medievalist cast of the volume. The American edition was reprinted three times in three months.

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Last updated: June 2000