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Tennyson Echoing Wordsworth$
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Jayne Thomas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474436878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474436878.001.0001

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Crossing the Wordsworthian Bar

Crossing the Wordsworthian Bar

(p.188) Conclusion Crossing the Wordsworthian Bar
Tennyson Echoing Wordsworth

Jayne Thomas

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter confirms the book’s findings through an analysis Tennyson’s late poem, ‘Crossing the Bar’ (1889); in ending with Tennyson’s valedictory lyric, the book also substantiates the claim that Tennyson did not move away from Wordsworth in his later years, drawing out the literary-historical implications of Tennyson’s echoing of Wordsworth’s language and phrasing. In studying the echoes that sound through poems, the book validates the notion that historical and cultural context cannot fully account for the author’s poetic and literary associations, as ‘literature itself has a history […] and manifests authors’ own histories of reading and writing’. Implicit in the summary is an acknowledgement of the dangers inherent in limiting the study of Tennyson’s Romantic influences simply to one, albeit toweringly important, poet. Yet the conclusion also implicitly acknowledges how the book’s concentration on Tennyson’s echoing of Wordsworth reveals compelling things about the later poet’s poetic relationship with Wordsworth, making a timely intervention in the field of Romantic and Victorian literary continuities and discontinuities, and expanding critical understanding of Tennyson’s poetic relationship with Wordsworth and with his own poetry.

Keywords:   Tennyson, Wordsworth, ‘Crossing the Bar’, Literary-historical implications, Poetic relationship, Romantic and Victorian continuities

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