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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

‘Either poetry is growing more religious, or religion more poetical’. The movements which ensued within the Church of England, in part at least inspired by John Keble's book, demonstrated that both these assertions were true. The Christian Year, one of the most influential works of poetry of the nineteenth century, is now seldom read or taught, and critical interest in it has generally centred upon its acknowledged effect on other writers of the Victorian period. Keble's aesthetic theories, of which The Christian Year is the fullest embodiment, have, however, maintained an implicit or explicit presence in critical readings of Victorian poetry and poetics, from M. H. Abrams's account of these theories in terms of Freudian repression and sublimation in the 1950s, to twenty-first century re-examinations of Keble in the light of renewed interest in literary affect and the significance of emotion.

Keywords: Christian Year, John Keble, Victorian poetry, M. H. Abrams, Freudian repression, religion

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