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Second SightThe Visionary Imagination in Late Victorian Literature$
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Catherine Maxwell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071447

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071447.001.0001

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Theodore Watts-Dunton's Aylwin and the reduplications of Romanticism

Theodore Watts-Dunton's Aylwin and the reduplications of Romanticism

(p.166) 4 Theodore Watts-Dunton's Aylwin and the reduplications of Romanticism
Second Sight

Catherine Maxwell

Manchester University Press

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

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