Philip B. Marston's "Prelude": blindness, form and the long Pre-Raphaelite period

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Philip Bourke Marston was, in a sense, raised into Pre-Raphaelitism. Born in the year The Germ launched, Marston grew up alongside the movement. At the age of twenty-one, Marston had the support of both Swinburne and Rossetti in the publication and promotion of his first volume of poetry, Song-Tide and other poems (1871). In this article I will look specifically at the “Prelude” to Song-Tide to argue that Marston attempted early on to demarcate his work from that of the major figures of Pre-Raphaelitism by staking claim to the aural/oral, rather than the visual. In fact, his participation in Pre-Raphaelitism, far from being imitative, helped to steer the movement towards the formalism that would come to dominate the poetry of the later Aesthetic movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-96
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies
Issue numberSpring
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • pre-raphaelite
  • aestheticism
  • victorian poetry


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