Theodore Watts-Dunton's <i>Aylwin</i> and the reduplications of Romanticism

Catherine Maxwell

in Second Sight

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780719071447
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701096 | DOI:
Theodore Watts-Dunton's Aylwin and the reduplications of Romanticism

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This chapter introduces and reconsiders the achievement of Theodore Watts-Dunton, poet, critic and novelist, before focusing on his best-selling but now neglected novel Aylwin. A meditation on the lost woman, the novel offers as part of its end-of-century rearticulation of Romantic values a particularly arresting treatment of woman-as-aesthetic image reduplicated through portraiture and mesmeric therapy, and reinstates the often missing ‘pathological’ element of the Romantic Image. The chapter traces the uncanny structures of corporeal doubling, repetition and transference which Watts-Dunton allies with Coleridge's ‘Christabel’ to consider the novel's strategic defence of the Romantic imagination, and shows how it reveals the lines of a Romantic genealogy that extends from Coleridge through Rossetti to writers such as Yeats.

Keywords: lost woman; Romanticism; aesthetic image; Romantic Image; Christabel

Chapter.  15239 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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