"Soul-talk": Networks of political poetry in a trans-channel literary triangle

Julia F. Saville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the mid-Victorian decades poets, like novelists, were embedded in political and formal networks. Many harnessed nationally infected lyric forms to triangulate French and British exchanges with the marginalized perspective of risorgi-mentoitaly. An especially lively debate of the early 1870s concerned Louis napoleon, in his third and final exile in Britain after his defeat by Prussia. For Robert Browning, who saw poetic forms like the dramatic monologue as means to animating ethical choices, the effects of Louis's actions on the French and Italian peoples demanded rigorous accounting. this Browning undertakes in Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society (1871), voicing civic-republican "soul-talk": poetry's feminized counterpart to the discourse of manly character. in doing so, Browning demonstrates his own immersion in overlapping republican and liberal political networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-308
Number of pages10
JournalVictorian Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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