One of the links that I provided to the right of this screen is for The Swinburne Project. This online resource was recently re-launched and I only discovered it since the re-launch. I think it is fantastic that someone considers Swinburne worthy of his own website.
“The Leper”; “Hermaphroditus”; “Fragoletta”: and “Delores” are favourites for me. I have also recently discovered some of his erotic works. One of these works is currently staring at me from my bookshelf: Lesbia Brandon. My 583pp copy is a Falcon Press edition from 1956. The paper is quite thick so the book is almost 4” thick – very intimidating when I consider the works I still need to read for my thesis.
I mention this work because it is one of those cultural works few teach in the University setting. I was lucky to have an undergraduate professor who taught his work but many do not seem to include him in their canon of necessary authors. This is why I think the Swinburne Project is so important. The site brings Victorian Literature, literature that does not fit into the ideology of repression that that some modernist scholars impose onto Victorian Literature and culture. Swinburne embraced modernity and the future through a revisioning of the past. He turns to Baudelaire and French culture, and then to Sappho and Hellenism to reimage his own Victorian time and place.
Real artists challenge our perceptions of the present through their narrations of time, space, and identity. Swinburne, I believe is one of the best at this in the 19th century. So, if you have never read Swinburne, give him a try!