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Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his work Jenny

This page will examine the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and specifically his poem Jenny. Rossetti was an extremely influential English artist and poet of the Victorian Era. As a founder of the Pre Raphaelites movement, Rossetti aimed to break free from the idealistic and “rigid” structure of traditional Victorian art.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his work "Jenny"

This page looks at the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, specifically his poem Jenny. Rossetti was an extremely influencial English poet and artist who was a founder of the Pre Raphaelite movement. Artist and literary creators who identified with the Pre-Raphaelite genre aimed to break free from the idealistic and “rigid” structure of traditional Victorian art. The Pre-Raphaelite’s sought to portray naturalistic and hyper-realistic representations of their subjects and environments, demonstrating how sensuality, spirituality, and morality all play apart in the human experience.

Finding a Refuge for the Victorian Illustrated Book in the COVE

Much of the joy of teaching a course I designed on “The Victorian Illustrated Book” comes from introducing students to the rare book room at Skidmore College.  Even senior English majors are often surprised to discover that Special Collections exists at a small liberal arts college.  In the rare book room, we study physical books, serials, and prints in the forms they appeared to the Victorians when they were first issued, though some have been rebound or put in archival boxes for safe handling.

The City of the Jugglers

January, 2021

Set in the aftermath of Chartism, the European revolutions of 1848, and the bursting of the railway bubble, William North’s The City of the Jugglers; or, Free-Trade in Souls: A Romance of the “Golden” Age (H. J, Gibbs, 1850) is constructed around the rise and fall of an audacious commercial speculation in human souls, and, with it, England’s reactionary social order.  Punctuated by Carlylean statements of moral outrage, self-regarding authorial footnotes, diverting speculations on matters ranging from monetary policy to the state of modern cookery, repeated panegyrics on the versatile excellence of men-of-letters, and at least three doubled secondary plot lines, the book repeatedly transgresses and thereby calls attention to the formal conventions of the Victorian novel.  This edition of The City of the Jugglers seeks to make this deliberately problematic text both available and accessible to a twenty-first-century audience of students and scholars.  Freed from the market that it excoriates, hopefully North’s self-described “mythical history, magnetic revelation, dream of poetic vanity, incomprehensible cartoon, or whatever else it turn out to be in the eyes of men or angels” can speak to a new generation of “defenders of the people, which we, and we only, represent, in this age of transitions.”

Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland

Olive Schreiner's Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland (1897) gives voice to one of the most powerful and uncompromising denunciations of imperial violence published in the nineteenth century, and yet the work stands largely unread by students of Victorian literature. The novella, set in Rhodesia under Company Rule, depicts an encounter between a young British soldier lost in the veld and a mysterious Christ-like stranger who transforms his views on colonialism.

Concerning Geffray Teste Noire


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