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Reviews95 comprehensively addressed as the title of the book promises. Blake, Coleridge, Byron, and Shelley are virtually ignored. Furthermore, the cases for both a Victorian/Romantic division and for limiting the study to poetry are never made clear. That is, intertextuality among Victorians and across generic boundaries may well be richer and more instructive than that between Victorians and Romantics or that which is solely in the domain of poetry. Finally, the absence of any extended reference to "the anxiety of influence" and related ideas is puzzling, not so much because Harrison or anyone else need accept this particular psychological model but because influence, literary lineage, and doubts about tradition and literary inheritance seemed to trouble—even haunt—numerous Victorian writers. In other words, one misses the psychological dimension of the "ideologies" Harrison finds in intertextuality, except perhaps in the chapter on Swinburne. While Victorian Poets and Romantic Poems has its limitations, it is nonetheless a significant contribution from new historicism to Victorian scholarship. The introductory chapter argues compellingly for the value of new historicism and is open and fair about the possible drawbacks of this method of inquiry. In every case, subsequent chapters raise important questions about how key writers use texts they have inherited. The absence of a bibliography is puzzling and disappointing, but the notes are very good, and the index is solid. A wide variety of scholars and critics will want to take a look at this book, which is also general and accessible enough to benefit many graduate students. Hans Ostrom University of Puget Sound J. Don Vann and Rosemary T. VanArsdel, eds. Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research, Volume 2. New York: MLA, 1989. viii + 177. $32.00 US (cloth); $17.50 US (paper). In the introductory chapter of Victorian PeriodicaL·: A Guide to Research, Volume 2, Christopher A. Kent encourages the reader to "feel rather like Sherlock Holmes, piecing together the clues to some puzzling crime" (1 1); in the concluding chapter, N. Merrill Distad describes research on Victorian periodicals as "detective work" (125). These remarks give some sense of the excitement which pervades this Guide, an excitement based 96Victorian Review on a shared sense of scholarly achievement, and an even keener sense of the manifold possibiUties for future research. When the first volume of Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research appeared in 1978, two volumes of the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals had been published, and scholars were beginning to sense that periodicals constituted a rich, essential source for the study of Victorian history and culture. But there were few other reference books to map the wilderness of the estimated total of more than fifty thousand periodical titles. In large part because the first volume of the Guide succeeded so well in its modest goal of describing the materials available to scholars, there was a substantial growth in periodicals research in the 1980s, a growth which has made necessary the pubUcation of this second volume. The contents of the first volume are updated in four valuable appendices which survey findinglists for Victorianperiodicals, biographical resources, general histories of the press, and histories and studies of individual periodicals. In the fifth appendix, Rosemary T. VanArsdel discusses the achievement of the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900 (5 vols, 1966 - 1988). VanArsdel also summarizes the contents of the archives of the Wellesley Index. But Volume 2 of Victorian Periodicals: A Guide to Research is far more than an updated edition of Volume 1: it includes also a dozen new chapters reflecting what the editors refer to in the "Preface" as "one of the most basic differences between the two volumes ... the growth of scholars ' self-confidence in the importance and legitimacy of research in Victorian periodicals" (viü). Thus Volume 1 devoted its first chapter to "The Rationale—Why Read Victorian Periodicals?" Volume 2, in contrast, commences with Kent's provocative discussion of "Victorian Periodicals and the Constructing of Victorian Reality": Kent argues that the growth of periodicals resulted in "the fragmentation of a common context" (3), the decline of natural theology, and the creation of new codes ofrealism that affected the way readers conceived and perceived the world. This tone of confidence and even...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 95-99
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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