Dollie Radford and the Ethical Aesthetics of Fin-de-Siecle Poetry

Ruth Livesey

in Socialism, Sex, and the Culture of Aestheticism in Britain, 1880-1914

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263983
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734731 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Dollie Radford and the Ethical Aesthetics of Fin-de-Siecle Poetry

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This chapter uses the case of the poet, Socialist League member, and Fabian, Dollie Radford, to examine the relationship between socialism and fin-de-siècle aestheticism. After outlining Radford's conversion to socialism, the discussion examines her attempts to publish her work in the socialist journal Today. Radford's work from the 1880s forms a marked contrast with that of her widely published fellow Fabian E. Nesbit and the contrast highlights the oft-remarked ‘feminine’ lyricism of Radford's poetry. The chapter argues that, like Schreiner's Dreams, Radford's ‘A Ballad of Victory’, published in the Yellow Book, uses allegory to render political questions in an aesthetic register. The chapter concludes by comparing Radford's work from the 1890s with that of her fellow in the League, William Morris.

Keywords: A Ballad of Victory; socialism; Dollie Radford; Dreams; feminine lyricism; William Morris

Chapter.  11243 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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