Bookish Discussions

Favourite Victorian Poems:


Instead of recommending you more Victorian novels (see here), I thought I’d pay tribute to a form of literature that I tend to neglect: poetry. It’s not that I don’t like poetry, it’s just not my favourite thing to read. I’d rather read a thousand page realist novel than a few stanzas of poetry – that’s just the way it is. But, amongst the few Victorian poems that I have read, I’ve managed to find a couple that really resonate with me, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Before I get into that, though, I want to pay homage to the Dover Thrift Edition of English Victorian Poetry: An Anthology edited by Paul Negri. This is a brilliant collection of the most celebrated poems and poets of the century. Inside, you’ll find the likes of Emily Brontë, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde and Christina Rosetti, to name but a few. It’s what introduced me to Victorian poetry, and so I want to recommend it to you.

Anyway, let’s get into it… Continue reading “Favourite Victorian Poems:”

Bookish Discussions

#Victober update I:


I’m coming to you with my first update of #Victober! It’s probably going to be a long one, so I’ll save the unnecessary introduction. Here’s what my first week consisted of…

To begin with, I read Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies – a book that wasn’t actually on my TBR. It’s a fairy-tale, and was originally serialised in Macmillan’s Magazine from 1862-1863, before being published later that year. The story centres around Tom, an orphaned apprentice to the villainous chimney-sweep Mr. Grimes. Whilst cleaning the chimneys of a rich, middle-class property, Tom finds himself in the room of Ellie – the daughter of the house – who mistakes him for a thief. After running away, he cools down in a stream where he transforms into a water baby. On his journey underwater, he encounters lots of creatures who all have a didactic (and maybe moral?) purpose.
Continue reading “#Victober update I:”

Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journals:



Rated: 2 stars

Read: 9 September – 10 September, 2018

‘It is a breathless grey day that leaves the golden woods of Autumn quiet in their own tranquility, stately & beautiful in their decaying, the lake a perfect mirror’



Dorothy’s journals were on the suggested reading for my Romantic Victorians module. I have never read them in their entirety, only briefly analysing some for my Wordsworth course last year. They record her life with William, giving an insight into the daily life of the poet and his friendship with Coleridge. They are remarkable for their ‘spontaneity and immediacy, and for the vivid descriptions of people, place, and incidents that inspired some of Wordsworth’s best-loved poems’.

I read from the Oxford World’s Classics edition of ‘The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals‘, which I would recommend if you’re looking for a detailed insight. They have an extensive notes section and a lengthy introduction. The Grasmere Journals began in May 1800 and was kept for three years, and the Alfoxden Journals was written during 1797 to 1798. Dorothy wrote pretty much everyday, addressing the most mundane activities of her day. It definitely isn’t a read for everyone.

Continue reading “Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journals:”