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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/3/2013
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Few collections of verse have been associated with such drama as these poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82). Much of this work had disappeared in 1862 when it was buried with Rossetti's wife, Elizabeth Siddal, only to be brought back to the light of day in 1869. Rossetti added further poems and the work first appeared in 1870. The full impact of the sexually explicit material was soon felt. In his article 'The Fleshly School of Poetry', the writer Robert Williams Buchanan denounced Rossetti as corrupt and decadent. Others joined the chorus of disapproving voices. Steeped in remorse about his treatment of his wife, and riddled with guilt about his affair with Jane Morris, Rossetti broke down and attempted suicide. Behind all the sensation, however, lies Rossett's subtle and complex literary intelligence attempting, many years before Freud, to find honest modes of expression for the central importance of the libido.

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