Idylls of the King | Critical Essay by James Eli Adams

This literature criticism consists of approximately 54 pages of analysis & critique of Idylls of the King.
This section contains 8,388 words
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Critical Essay by James Eli Adams

SOURCE: "Harlots and Base Interpreters: Scandal and Slander in Idylls of the King," in Victorian Poetry, Vol. 30, Nos. 3-4, Autumn-Winter, 1992, pp. 421-439.

In the essay that follows, Adams claims that Idylls of the King advances a sexual morality in relation to forms of publicity.

"Confound the publicities and gabblements of the 19th century!"

—Tennyson to Edward Moxon, 1847

In 1856 Tennyson sent James Spedding an early draft of what was then called "Nimue" (subsequently "Merlin and Vivien"), the first installment of Tennyson's sustained work on what would become Idylls of the King. Spedding responded with what is probably the earliest criticism of the Idylls, and what has turned out to be one of the most persistent. "The effect of the poem," Spedding objected, "is much injured by the predominance of harlotry" (Letters, 2:154). Recent criticism is still much concerned with...

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This section contains 8,388 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Staines