Date of Award

1982

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Abstract

This bibliography contains primary and secondary bibliographical material relating to Robert Bridges (1844-1930), Poet Laureate of England from 1913 until his death in 1930. The first chapter contains all known editions of Bridges' poems and plays, and includes his editions of hymns. The second chapter is devoted to Bridges' prose writings, and the third chapter collects for the first time the reviews, articles, essays, books, and other scholarly notes about Bridges. The third chapter also incorporates anthologies which include Bridge's poetry. In the life, work, and critical reception of Robert Bridges there seem always to be two opposite influences or contending forces. These forces may be generally described in broad terms as classic and romantic. The conservative, classical influence of the Tractarian movement while Bridges was at Eton was countered by the more liberal, romantic influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement at Oxford. Similarly, Bridges' undergraduate degree in humane letters was balanced by his medical degree from St. Bartholomew's hospital. Although the classical aspects of Bridges' art have been frequently noted by critics--his traditional subject matter, his adherence to poetic convention, his attention to poetic form and meter--thus classifying him as a classicist, there are significant romantic elements in his work which have been downplayed or ignored by the critics. His love and worship of Beauty, his neo-Platonic philosophy, his landscape poetry, and his metrical innovations are characteristic romantic aspects of his art. In the same vein, the critics have either praised his poetry for its classical emotional restraint, or they have condemned it for a lack of genuine emotion. In view of these contraditions, a reassessment of Robert Bridges and his works seems desirable. Bridges is ignored today because his poetry seems too quiet and contented for modern tastes, which seem to prefer highly personal emotion and wrenched anxiety. Despite this, no other poet in this century has been as completely devoted to his art or as widely interested in matters related to his art as was Robert Bridges.

Pages

308

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