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Literature: British Literature II (ENG-264)

William Morris

William Blake

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Robert Browning

Siegfried Sassoon

Alfred Tennyson

Christina Rossetti

Lord Byron

Annotated Bibliography

 Alfano, Veronica. “William Morris and the Uses of Nostalgia: Memory in the Early and Late Poetry.” Victorian Studies, vol. 60, no. 2, 2018, pp. 243–54.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=130137709&site=ehost-live

Aflano’s article explores Morris’s approach to writing throughout his career and his political themes. She reflects on the Victorian style of The Defence of Guenevere and Morris’s tone that demonstrates character identity and a focus on future elements. Students may benefit from the source if they apply a formalism critical theory lens to Morris’s The Defence of Guenevere. The article includes direct quotations from Morris on the purpose of writing, as well as Aflano’s interpretation of Morris’s approach to form and craft. 
Additionally, Alfano’s attention to the political factors driving Morris’s works encourages application of a Marxist critical theory lens. The historical elements of the Morris’s works, and his socialism viewpoints, suggest that literature reflects economic and political challenges. Students applying a reader response lens may benefit from the article’s focus on nostalgic elements, which may vary in effect for the individual. The article promotes interpretation of Morris’s The Defence of Guenevere, and suggests factors and motivators for his works. 

Aman, Yasser K. R. “The Apocalyptic Image of the Beast in William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ and W.B. Yeats’ ‘The Second Coming.’” Critical Survey, vol. 33, no. 3/4, 2021, pp. 47–61.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=152558683&site=ehost-live

Blake’s religious figure is examined alongside Yeast’s adaptation throughout Aman’s article to demonstrate the repetition of literary themes and the human desire for higher understanding. Aman’s article focuses on the religious elements and Yeats’s connection to reality throughout his works. Yeats’s works, as a result, manipulate facts with fiction to provide individuality to recycled concepts of the universe and ideas of a beast figure. 
The source might help students that apply a mythological, historicism, or reader response critical theory. The religious elements throughout the literary works can be best examined with a mythological lens, and students can better understand Yeats’ approach with the specific examples throughout the article. Additionally, Aman provides historical context for romantic poets, and Blake’s influence on Yeats. The article includes varying reactions and critics with opposing perspectives, and the examples may demonstrate the appropriateness of a reader response critical theory lens. The audience reaction to Yeats is unique to their experience, and Aman provides historical information without negating from the individual. 

Datli, Beigi Roohollah, et al. “Urban Decay or the Uncanny Return of Dionysus: An Analysis of the Ruins in Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias.’” Critical Survey, vol. 34, no. 1, 2022, pp. 74–86.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=154199831&site=ehost-live

The critics discuss Shelley’s works and provides information on the Enlightenment and Romanticism literary periods. The article may be particularly useful to students who apply a deconstruction or historical theories. The destruction of political systems is largely explored throughout the article in relation to Shelley’s works, and facts and interwoven to provide deeper insight of larger contexts. Students may apply a mythological lens, as done throughout the essay, to better understand the myths referenced to in the literature. The authors suggest that the deconstruction and disregard of myths prevent their success and impedes additional stories. Variety within the text also encourages application of the reader response critical theory, as opposing viewpoints alter meaning, but are logical with text examples.       
Similarly, information on economic ties support students that view the texts with a Marxist critical theory, and the article explores human corruption. The article suggests ways for regeneration within society, and remarks on the immortality of the poetry itself. The detailed analysis supports a variety of critical theory application and allows deeper consideration of Shelley’s works. 

Enright, Nancy. “Hopkins, Nature and Laudato Si’.” Way, vol. 58, no. 2, 2019, pp. 85– 92.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=136280783&site=ehost-live

In her article, Enright provides details of Hopkins and Pope Francis, both religious in their writing, and reference man’s destruction of nature and self. Unlike the students’ assignment, the article includes in-text poems for reference, and readily compares the poems to one another. Religious references and information promote application of the mythological critical theory to Hopkins’s works as students read the article. The authors observe the religious elements as being disturbed by society, and economic activity and pollution as catalysts towards doom. Similarly, the article is appropriate for students that apply the historicism critical theory to the texts because of the details included, and the enhanced understanding of the works because of the factual context on events.
Additionally, the article encourages application of a reader response lens because of the insistence that there is also a focus on the individual within religious elements discussed. Similarly, the article explores a perceived shift in tone, towards the hopeful, but others may find the works to be more fear-provoking; the range in reactions varies the meaning and relationship with Hopkins’s works. 

Gardner, J. Kevin. “Was the Duke of Ferrara Impotent?” ANQ, vol. 23, no. 3, 2010, pp. 166–71.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=52701462&site=ehost-live

Throughout his article, Gardner discusses the sexual impotence of Browning’s character in “My Last Duchess.” Historical facts and references to the English Renaissance ground the audience of the context of Browning’s writings and allows the article to blend well with the historicism critical theory. The meaning of the text is openly explored by the character, but students that utilize the reader response lens may analyze the variety of purpose and explanation. Gardner concludes with encouragement to apply a variety of perspectives, and his article readily supports application of many critical theories and demonstrates some of the angles to approach Browning’s works. 
Students who apply the psychoanalytical critical theory may greatly benefit from the article because of its focus on sexual rhetoric, and its attention to gender and power dynamics. The attention to the text, and comparisons across Browning’s works, encourages application of the formalism critical theory. The details on symbolism and specific text quotes reflect attention to the original text in relation to its lasting impression. Similarly, Gardner’s discussion exemplifies reason to apply the deconstruction critical theory to better understand the duke’s inability to communicate and the breaking down of social standing. The article allows richer understanding of Browning’s purpose, and his characters, as Gardner encourages the audience to maintain an open mind during critical analyses. 

Geiger, Maria. “No Trench Required.” War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities, vol. 27, 2015, pp. 1-13.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=120090415&site=ehost-live

Geiger’s article analyzes WWI literature, including Sassoon’s “Glory of Women,” Sackville’s “Nostra Culpa,” and Clarke’s “Women and War.”  She provides a thorough background on the dynamic of men serving, and women being only permitted to provide medical treatment as nurses, and the written accounts by both parties. The themes written by women often focused on their medicine practice and mourning, while men wrote detailed accounts of their moments of war itself. Fictional literature written by women became cause for the narratives told by women to be brushed aside as their male counterparts grew in popularity. The details on women as writers, witnesses, and characters encourages the article alongside application of the feminist critical theory. The initial popularity in both sexes’ works, followed by the discouragement of the women’s accounts, suggests appropriate application for the reader response theory, as well. Frequently, Geiger presents perspectives with evidence from the text and continues with her varying approach to the text and demonstrates the variety of interpretation. 
As readers gain interest in a more rounded understanding of history, it becomes difficult to find sources and passages of all perspectives because of the moments that the narratives were cast aside. The article explores the historical context of the literature, with specific newspapers, and provides political information to better ground readers. The historicism critical theory may be appropriate to pair with the texts and the article because its potential elevated, or varying, perspective. Students that apply the formalism critical theory to their essay assignment may also benefit from Geiger’s article, as she frequently engages with the word and format level components of the texts. The article complements many critical theories and supports the audience with historical information in a beneficial way for the students.  

Gray, Erik. “Getting It Wrong in ‘The Lady of Shalott.’” Victorian Poetry, vol. 47, no. 1, 2009, pp. 45–59.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=39232984&site=ehost-live

Gray examines Tennyson’s works, including “The Lady of Shalott,” alongside Shelley’s, and provides context in Victorian poetry with other critics’ interpretations. The article includes in-depth explanation on the authors’ attention to tense, tone, poetic composition and rhythm, imagery, and language. Students that apply the formalism critical theory may benefit from the observation of Gray’s respect towards the authors’ rhetoric and its direct influence on the text’s meaning; however, Tennyson’s background as a literary critic and his fixation with linguistic details often pushed him to frequently revise his works. Specifically, the variety within redrafts of “The Lady of Shalott” suggests there are no “wrong” or “right” answers when writing because the ideas are not fixed, or definite to exist. Similarly, Gray includes Shelley’s perspective on the inability to ever capture an inspiration well. The article’s breakdown of language and meaning across the literary texts may benefit students that apply the deconstruction literary theory. 
Additionally, students who adopt a mythological perspective in focus may find appeal in Gray’s attention to the Lucretian gods and Christian elements. Students that view the texts with the reader response theory may advance from the article’s realization that “The Lady of Shalott” remains open ended and influences the audience’s relationship with the characters. Additionally, Gray provides interpretation of consequences associated with readers’ interpretations. The details on Tennyson’s background supports application of the autobiographical critical theory to his texts, as some as Gray’s evidence does. The variety of perspectives that the article applies to the text supports the reader response theory, as the audience’s reactions sway Tennyson’s revisions, and his texts encourage discussion of interpretation.   

Harrison, Antony H. “Christina Rossetti: Illness and Ideology.” Victorian Poetry, vol. 45, no. 4, 2007, pp. 415–28.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=27713807&site=ehost-live

Harrison’s article navigates the complexity of Rossetti’s works, including Goblin Market, and explores the medical treatment of women during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The article provides insight in Rossetti’s wellbeing, both physical and emotional, and its perceived subsequent effect on her sexual desires and religious views. Harrison suggests that Rossetti’s experiences altered her ideology, literature, and professions because she wanted to share her realizations with others. He links her relationship with herself and her illness with her frequent literary themes with textual evidence and includes letters with her family that speak on her religion and wellbeing. The thoroughness account of her life encourages students that apply the autobiographical lens to her works. 
Harrison also provides references to Christ’s pride and Eve’s desire throughout Rossetti’s works that will support application of the mythological critical theory. Additionally, students may benefit from the source if they apply a psychoanalytical critical theory to the text because of Rossetti’s perspectives on sex being taught to her from society and the tendency to assume medically diagnosed hysteria was linked to dissatisfaction. There is also evidence that links Rossetti’s medical experiences with distaste towards others and discomfort of self, further driving her from sexual partners and marriage. Similarly, the historicism critical theory joins well with the essay because of the more concrete setting it provides for readers, and difference in perspective. The article’s meticulous nature and attention to varying views will drive further understanding, and interest, in Rossetti’s life and works. 

Hessell, Nikki. “Elegiac Wonder and Intertextuality in the Liberal.” Romanticism, vol. 18, no. 3, 2012, pp. 239–49.,url,cookie&db=a9h&AN=82713519&site=ehost-live


Hessell’s article explores the working, and grieving, relationship between Shelley, Hunt, and Byron as they navigated the creation of the Liberal in 1822. The source provides information on the Romanticism period, and explains how the men communicated through, and because of, Shelley prior to his death. The article explores Hunt’s response to Shelley’s death, and his distaste towards the public, and disturbing, account of the tragedy. Hessell relates Hunt’s true reaction with death to Shelley’s previous illustration of Hunt as a mourner in “Adonais.” Students who apply the reader response critical theory may benefit from reviewing the article because of the attention to Hunt’s reaction to another’s words, and the world’s reactions to his. Hessell’s article suggests that the loss of Shelley allows for the success of the Liberal because of the immortality created for the audience. Additionally, the coincidences between reality and their writing encourages application of the deconstruction theory because the representation of how Hunt “should” mourn may have influenced his true response. The historical evidence throughout the article, and insight into the authors’ lives, supports the application of both the historicism and autobiographical critical theories. Students that apply a historicism lens may track the process of the Liberal, and society’s place during the time, while the autobiographical would include more details of their reactions to more intimate experiences. The article provides a foundation of understanding for the working world between authors and their works, as well as the relationship between peers and their audience.