Angel in the House

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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837—1909) poet and literary reviewer

Edmund Gosse (1849—1928) writer

Virginia Woolf (1882—1941) writer and publisher

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A sequence of poems by C. Patmore, in four parts, published 1854–61. The work is a celebration of married love. Felix courts and weds Honoria, a dean's daughter; in the last two parts Frederick, a rival for Honoria's hand, marries Jane and learns to love her before her early death. It was immensely popular with the Victorian public, though its mixture of high‐flown sentiment and banal details about middle‐class life made it the object of much mockery from more sophisticated authors like Swinburne and Gosse. V. Woolf, in a lecture on ‘Professions for Women’ (1931), spoke of the need for women writers to ‘kill the Angel in the House’.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Coventry Patmore (1823—1896) poet and essayist