Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads George Meredith, Criscillia Ann Benford, Rebecca N. Mitchell

Publication date:
08 Jan 2013
Yale University Press
440 pages: 235 x 156 x 35mm
12 b-w illus., 3 graphs
Sales territories:

Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside occupies a distinctive and somewhat notorious place within George Meredith’s already unique body of work. Modern Love is now best known for the emotionally intense sonnet cycle which Meredith’s own contemporaries dismissed as scandalously confessional and indiscreet. While individual sonnets from the work have been anthologized, the complete cycle is rarely included, and the original edition has not been reprinted since its first appearance in 1862. This edition restores the original publication and supplements it with a range of accompanying materials that will reintroduce Meredith’s astonishing collection of poetry to a new generation of readers.

Rebecca N. Mitchell is an associate professor of English at The University of Texas Pan American. Criscillia Benford is a Visiting Scholar in the English Department at Stanford University.

“One hundred fifty years have passed since George Meredith’s extraordinarily bold ‘Modern Love’ struck Richard Holt Hutton in the Spectator as nothing less than ‘Modern Lust.’ In this finely prepared edition, Rebecca N. Mitchell and Criscillia Benford draw detailed attention to one of Victorian Britain’s greatest poems on sexual desire. This outstanding edition enables us to see why Meredith, a unique writer whose formidable demands too often account for his unjustifiable neglect, deserves renewed critical attention.”—Joseph Bristow, University of California, Los Angeles

“This complex, avant-garde Victorian poet comes into his own in this outstanding edition. Meredith's provocative experiments, prismatic ironies and shifting perspectives dazzle anew here, with the poems published alongside ‘Modern Love,’ plus contemporary reviews, cultural documents of poetics, sexuality and the sensoria.”—Isobel Armstrong, University of London

“Rebecca Mitchell and Criscillia Benford’s important edition opens new possibilities in scholarship and classrooms by allowing readers to access Meredith’s vibrant poetry in its cultural, publishing, and visual contexts.”—Linda K. Hughes, author of The Cambridge Introduction to Victorian Poetry

“This handsome, useful new edition. . . promises to draw deserved new attention to Meredith’s achievement.” —Choice

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the English American Category.