The hazy settings and amorphous auditors of Tennyson’s dramatic monologues are often contrasted—at Tennyson’s expense—with Browning’s more vivid, concrete realizations. Hughes argues that Tennyson’s achievements in the genre are, in fact, considerable, that his influence can be traced in such major figures as T. S. Eliot, and that the monologue occupies a far more central position in Tennyson’s poetic achievement than has hitherto been acknowledged.
Hughes’ study challenges the traditional view of Tennyson’s inferior achievement, and her account of the elements and operation of the dramatic monologue, especially as demonstrated by three of its most important practitioners, will be of interest to all those concerned with the monologue as a poetic mode.
Linda K. Hughes, Addie Levy Professor of Literature at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, is the author of The Manyfaced Glass: Tennyson’s Dramatic Monologues (Ohio, 1987), New Woman Poets: An Anthology, and, with Michael Lund, The Victorian Serial and Victorian Publishing and Mrs. Gaskell’s Work. More info →
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