John Keble : poet and critic

Harvey, Donald Frederick (1987) John Keble : poet and critic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In this thesis I have examined the literary career of The Rev. John Keble (1792 - 1866) so as to demonstrate that his role in the development of English critical theory has been seriously underrated. His neglect, I contend, is due to several factors, not the least of which was the temperament and religious convictions of the man himself. I also have presented evidence to show that the initial and enduring popular appeal of his first volume of poetry, The Christian Year, overshadowed his later scholarship, which consequently went largely unnoticed. His literary contribution was presented in a series of lectures given during the ten years that he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford University; and in a series of articles and reviews in learned journals. Not only were his ideas perceptive and illuminating, but they also helped to some extent to determine the direction that English critical theory was to follow during the remainder of the nineteenth century. -- My method of presentation is to begin with an evaluation of John Keble as a pastor and as a leader of the Oxford Movement within the Church of England. I show that each of these roles had a distinctive bearing both on his own poetry and on his beliefs about poetry in general. In doing this, I found it useful to examine the concept Keble referred to as the Doctrine of Reserve. -- I then analyse Keble’s poetry with a special emphasis on The Christian Year (1827) and The Lyra Innocentium (1846). This is followed by an appraisal of the forty lectures given at Oxford between 1832 and 1842, and later published under the title of The Praelectiones Acadamicae (1844). Some passages in the Occasional Papers and Reviews, which support and enhance the main themes of the lectures, are also presented and evaluated. -- Finally, I suggest why the fame of John Keble, who made such a distinctive and important contribution to English literature, so rapidly passed into obscurity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5445
Item ID: 5445
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 85-91.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Keble, John, 1792-1866

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