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'Romantic Ghosts: the Refusal of Mourning in Emily Brontë's Poetry' / Steven, Vine

Victorian Poetry, Volume: 37, Issue: 1, Pages: 99 - 117

Swansea University Author: Steven, Vine

Abstract

The essay examines the logic of the spectral and ‘ghostly’ in Emily Brontë’s poetry. It sees the phantoms that populate the poems as figures of loss and mourning – specifically, as mirages of poetic power and visionary sublimity. As spectral wraiths, these elusive figures embody both power and depri...

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Published in: Victorian Poetry
Published: 1999
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa17980
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Abstract: The essay examines the logic of the spectral and ‘ghostly’ in Emily Brontë’s poetry. It sees the phantoms that populate the poems as figures of loss and mourning – specifically, as mirages of poetic power and visionary sublimity. As spectral wraiths, these elusive figures embody both power and deprivation, and the essay argues that they denote the spectral sur-vival and irrecoverable loss of Romantic visionary power in Brontë. The essay contends that a process of mourning and refused mourning governs Brontë’s relationship as a Victorian woman poet to the legacy of male Romanticism, and that Wordsworth’s ‘visionary gleam’ of imaginative power haunts her work.
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 99
End Page: 117