Focusing on two of the most influential figures in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris, this book explores new ways of considering art and literature together. Elizabeth Helsinger traces the unusually close relationship between the poetry and poetics of two poet-artists and their contemporary practice of visual art and design. Her study focuses on innovations encouraged by the interaction between the arts to reassess the importance of Pre-Raphaelitism in literary as well as art history. Using the concept of “translation” from one medium to another, Helsinger develops compelling analyses of particular works and of the shared concerns of Rossetti and Morris. She connects their aesthetic and social experiments to projects undertaken by others, and she demonstrates the impact of Pre-Raphaelite strategies on later poets and poetic theorists. Lively and illuminating, this book both offers and studies the pleasures of reading and viewing attentively.
~Kate Flint“A brilliant and most enjoyable book, Poetry and the Pre-Raphaelite Arts is consistently stimulating.”—Kate Flint, Rutgers University
~Norman Kelvin"Helsinger offers an original, thoroughly researched, imaginative, and convincing approach to Morris and Rossetti.”—Norman Kelvin, City University of New York
"Helsinger's readings of major art-poetry by Rossetti and Morris make lavishly good on her claim to find PreRaphaelitism beholding one art through the medium of another, and thereby vesting culturally therapeutic power in redoubled attentiveness itself."—Herbert Tucker, University of Virginia
"Helsinger's distinguished career has been pointing towards this book for a long time. Now, thank Somebody, we have it—a splendid exploration of 'aesthetic consciousness as a distinctive form of knowing,' and of the pivotal contribution Rossetti and Morris made to the dance of intellect."—Jerome McGann, University of Virginia~Jerome McGann
~Elizabeth Prettejohn"Elizabeth Helsinger's fascinating new book brings together the two sides of Pre-Raphaelite art, visual and verbal, that have—regrettably and unaccountably—largely remained sundered in previous scholarship on the movement."—Elizabeth Prettejohn, author of Art for Art's Sake: Aestheticism in Victorian Painting