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Encyclopedia > Algernon Swinburne
Algernon Swinburne, Portrait by Rossetti
Algernon Swinburne, Portrait by Rossetti

Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837April 10, 1909) was a Victorian era English poet. His poetry was highly controversial in its day, much of it containing recurring themes of sadomasochism, death-wish, lesbianism and anti-Christian sentiments. ImageMetadata File history File links Swinburne. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Swinburne. ... Dante Gabriel Rossetti (May 12, 1828 - April 10, 1882) was an English poet, painter and translator. ... April 5 is the 95th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (96th in leap years). ... 1837 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1909 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her Accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian Era of Great Britain is considered the height of the British industrial revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... Bust of Homer, one of the earliest European poets, in the British Museum Poetry (ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... Flogging demonstration at Folsom Street Fair 2004. ... A lesbian is a homosexual woman. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers. ...


He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and counted among his best friends Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets and critics, founded in 1848 by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. ... Dante Gabriel Rossetti (May 12, 1828 - April 10, 1882) was an English poet, painter and translator. ...


He is considered a decadent poet, albeit that he professed to perhaps rather more vice than he actually indulged in, a fact which Oscar Wilde notably and acerbically commented upon. Decadence was the name given, first by hostile critics, and then triumphantly adopted by some writers themselves, to a number of late nineteenth century fin de siècle writers associated with Symbolism or the Aesthetic movement. ... Its a sorry man who can not invent an Oscar Wilde quote to fit his situation. ...


Many of his early and still admired poems evoke the Victorian fascination with the mediaeval period, and some of them are explicitly mediaeval in style, tone and construction, these representatives notably being "The Leper," "Laus Veneris," and "St Dorothy". The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...


He was an alcoholic and a highly excitable character. His health suffered as a result, until he finally broke down and was taken into care by his friend Theodore Watts, who looked after him for the rest of his life in Putney. Thereafter he lost his youthful rebelliousness and developed into a figure of social respectability. Polish propaganda poster saying: Stop drinking! Come with us and build a happy tomorrow. ... Theodore Watts-Dunton (October 12, 1832 - June 6, 1914) was an English critic and poet. ... Putney is a place in the London Borough of Wandsworth. ...


His vocabulary, rhyme and metre arguably make him one of the best poets of the English language; but his poetry has been criticized as overly flowery and meaningless, choosing words to fit the rhyme rather than to contribute towards meaning. A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... A rhyme is a repetition of identical or similar sounds in two or more different words and is most often used in poetry. ... Metre (American spelling: meter) describes the regular linguistic sound patterns of verse. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Works include: Atalanta in Calydon, Poems and Ballads (series I, II and III -- these contain most of his more controversial works), Songs Before Sunrise, Lesbia Brandon (novel published posthumously).


He also wrote poems in favour of the unification of Italy. He was a student at Balliol College, Oxford, and his work in his day was very popular among undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge, though today it has largely gone out of fashion. This, at least, is the current popular and even the academic view of the decline of Swinburne's reputation, but it contains some distortion. College name Balliol College Named after John de Balliol Established 1263 Sister College St Johns Master Andrew Graham JCR President Triona Giblin Undergraduates 403 Graduates 228 Homepage Boatclub Balliol College, founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ...


In fact Swinburne's Poems and Ballads, First Series and his Atalanta in Calydon have never been out of critical favor. It was Swinburne's misfortune that the two works, published when he was nearly 30, soon established him as England's premier poet, the successor to Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning. This was a position he held in the popular mind until his death, but sophisticated critics like A. E. Housman felt, rightly or wrongly, that the job of being one of England's very greatest poets was beyond him. Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892) is generally regarded as one of the greatest English poets. ... Robert Browning Robert Browning (May 7, 1812 – December 12, 1889) was an English poet and playwright. ... Alfred Edward Housman (March 26, 1859 _ April 30, 1936) was an English poet and classical scholar, now best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. ...


Swinburne may have felt this way himself. He was a highly intelligent man and in later life a much-respected critic, and he himself believed that the older a man was, the more cynical and less trustworthy he became. Swinburne may have been one of the first people not to trust anyone over thirty. This of course created problems for him after he himself passed that age.


After the first Poems and Ballads, Swinburne's later poetry is devoted more to politics and philosophy. He does not utterly stop writing love poetry, but he is far less shocking. His versification, and especially his rhyming technique, remain masterful to the end. He is the virtual star of the third volume of George Saintsbury's famous History of English Prosody, and Housman, a more measured and even somewhat hostile critic, devoted paragraphs of praise to his rhyming ability. George Edward Bateman Saintsbury (October 23, 1845 - 1933), was an English writer and critic. ...



Some of his poems:

Hymn to Proserpine is a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, published in 1866. ... The Triumph of Time is a poem by Algernon Swinburne, published in 1866. ...

Further Reading

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Algernon Swinburne

A modern study of his religious attitudes: File links The following pages link to this file: Abraham Lincoln Aristotle Ayn Rand Adolf Hitler Al Gore A Modest Proposal Articles of Confederation Arthur Schopenhauer Albert Einstein Amhrán na bhFiann Arthur Conan Doyle Ada programming language Antarctic Treaty System Andrew Jackson Andrew Johnson Adam Smith Bill Clinton Bible... Wikisource, The Free Library, is a Wikimedia project to build a free wiki library of primary source texts, along with translations of source-texts into any language and other supporting materials. ...

  • Swinburne and His Gods: the Roots and Growth of an Agnostic Poetry by Margot Kathleen Louis (ISBN 0773507159)

Trivia

Ernest Wheldrake was a fictional character invented by Swinburne, who reviewed imaginary works by him. This was as a satire on the spasmodic poets. Wheldrake is also a character used by Michael Moorcock in his fiction. The term spasmodic, certainly with some derogatory as well as humorous intention, was applied by William Edmonstoune Aytoun to a group of British poets of the Victorian era. ... Michael John Moorcock (born December 18, 1939) is a prolific British writer of both science fiction and science fantasy. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Algernon Swinburne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (634 words)
Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837 April 10, 1909) was a Victorian era English poet.
It was Swinburne's misfortune that the two works, published when he was nearly 30, soon established him as England's premier poet, the successor to Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning.
Swinburne may have been one of the first people not to trust anyone over thirty.
glbtq >> literature >> Swinburne, Algernon Charles (911 words)
Algernon Charles Swinburne was interested in flagellation, sadomasochism, bisexuality, and lesbianism, not only for their erotics but also as gestures of social and cultural rebellion.
Swinburne was a masochist and a flagellant who enjoyed visits to the flagellation brothels of London, particularly an establishment named "Verbena Lodge." He was fascinated by lesbianism and bisexuality not only for their erotics but because he interpreted them as gestures of social and cultural rebellion.
Swinburne remained devoted to the romantic ideal of the supremacy of the imagination even as his political beliefs turned sharply to the right in his old age.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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