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Byron and the Victorians


  • Page extent: 300 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/008
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: PR468.R65 E44 1995
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--19th century--History and criticism
    • Byron, George Gordon Byron,--Baron,--1788-1824--Influence
    • Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)--History--19th century
    • Romanticism--Great Britain

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521454520 | ISBN-10: 0521454522)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published May 1995

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$149.00 (C)

This book is the first full-length study of Byron's influence on Victorian writers, concentrating on Carlyle, Emily Brontë, Tennyson, Bulwer-Lytton, Disraeli and Wilde. It has two emphases--to demonstrate the ways that institutions of cultural production mediate the access that later writers have to earlier ones, and to suggest the many different responses that Victorian writers had to Byron and to his celebrity in British culture. It argues that defining oneself against Byron became a ritual of the Victorian authorial career. Victorian writers did not reject Byron outright: instead, they defined themselves through fictions of personal development away from values associated with Byron toward those associated with themselves as mature Victorian writers.


Introduction; 1. Byron and the secret self; 2. The creation of Byronism; 3. Carlyle, Byronism, and the professional intellectual; 4. Byron at the margins: Emily Brontë and the fate of Milo; 5. The flight from vulgarity: Tennyson and Byron; 6. The shady side of the sword: Bulwer Lytton, Disraeli, Wilde, and Byron's homosexuality; Afterword.

Prize Winner

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Books for 1995


"Elfenbein does a masterful job of examining these phenomena and demonstrating the way Victorian writers had to define themselves in relation to Byron....The book is fascinating, well-argued, well-supported, and thoroughly developed within the parameters of its topic." European Romantic Review

"An important contribution to 19th-century studies." Choice

"This is a very readable book that can be recommended to anyone interested in the intricate ways that one literary figure influences another." Studies in English Literature

" impressive study..." Robert F. Gleckner, The Wordworth Circle

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