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The Rise and Fall of MeterPoetry and English National Culture, 1860--1930$
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Meredith Martin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152738

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152738.001.0001

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The History of Meter

The History of Meter

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 The History of Meter
Source:
The Rise and Fall of Meter
Author(s):

Meredith Martin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691152738.003.0002

This chapter sets out the book's historical and methodological framework. Despite the modernist characterization of Victorian tradition as unified and steadfast, the various approaches to Victorian meter in English histories, grammars, and metrical studies reveal ideologically charged histories of English culture, often presented as Roman or Anglo-Saxon. Gerard Manley Hopkins was himself a mediator between various metrical discourses and theories. As a Catholic priest who taught the classics and an English poet who attempted to valorize the material history of the English language in his syntax and through his use of sprung rhythm, Hopkins is a test case for the personal and national ideologies of English meter.

Keywords:   Victorian tradition, Victorian meter, Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet, English meter, metrical history, grammatical history

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