As I just mentioned, I'm working on a Victorian poetry seminar for the fall semester. This is a last-minute course correction, as it were--a colleague is going on leave, and so my own schedule got swapped around a bit. We haven't had a dedicated graduate-level course in 19th-c. poetry in years (only mixed grad-undergrad sections), so I felt that offering one was something of a priority.
Victorian poetry anthologies seem to be in an odd state. The Oxford and Penguin anthologies of Victorian poetry are great to have on the shelf, but not helpful if you want students to do in-depth work on any particular poet. The big Collins & Rundle, which would work in a dedicated graduate seminar, has gone out of print, which leaves us with little Collins & Rundle--and that needs far too much supplementation for my purposes. Ditto the Blackwell anthologies, where once again, the big ones are out of print (both the general Victorian poetry anthology & the women poets anthology), and the small ones are primarily suited for undergraduate courses. The recent Anthem anthologies look interesting, but they're priced way out of student reach. (And faculty reach, for that matter.)
Right now, my book order looks something like this:
- Robert Browning, James F. Loucks (ed.), Andrew Stauffer (ed.), Robert Browning's Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Julia Bolton Holloway (ed.), John Bolton (ed)., Aurora Leigh and Other Poems (Penguin Classics)
- Alfred Tennyson, Adam Roberts (ed.), The Major Works (Oxford)
- Alfred Tennyson, J. M. Gray (ed.), Idylls of the King (Penguin Classics)
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, Catherine Phillips (ed.), The Major Works (Oxford)
- Cecil Y. Lang, ed., The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Circle (Chicago)
- Lisa Rodensky, ed., Decadent Poetry (Penguin)
I will still have to break out some online sources (and/or old-fashioned handouts) for Arnold and the Brontes, but the Lang has everything I want to teach from the Rossettis & Co., and Rodensky has a nice selection of the 1890s poets. As it stands, the class "tilts" a bit to the Brownings and Tennyson. Right now, though, the course is primarily a survey; the order may change in the next few days if I decide to tighten up the focus (narrative poetry, for example). Definitely no The Ring and the Book, though--that really needs to be its own course!
ETA: An intrepid commenter points out that even though Amazon is allergic to the full Collins & Rundle, Broadview actually still has it in stock. That certainly simplifies matters! I can order C&R plus Aurora Leigh and Idylls.