George Meredith: Modern Love

(1491 words)
  • Luke Spencer (University of Leeds)

First published in 1862, Modern Love was immediately seen as strikingly – if not shockingly – original in its treatment of intense emotions. Since then it has continued to confront readers with blistering psychological frankness and ironic social comment in a style remarkable for its versatility. The failure of Meredith’s first marriage was the occasion for this series of fifty 16-line poems which Meredith himself referred to as sonnets, although they do not conform to the usual 14-line form used by Sidney, Shakespeare and Milton. Meredith had met the recently-widowed Mary Ellen Nicolls, daughter of novelist Thomas Love Peacock, in 1848 and had married her the following year when he was 21 and she 27. Nine …

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Spencer, Luke. "Modern Love". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 July 2009
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. The Sonnet Tradition