In the years covered by this volume high Victorian poetry reached it's prolific peak and stimulated a corresponding abundance of critical comment. As poets turned to new themes and new modes of presenting them, critics sought to redifine the function of poetry in their time and nowhere with greater immediacy and sense of the cultural issues at stake than in the periodicals. Two occasions when discussion was particularly lively - in relation to Tennyson's early poems and Arnold's 1853 Preface - are here used by Dr. Armstrong as focal points and with them in mind she has selected and annotated 13 substantial reviews, principally devoted to the poetry of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold and Clough. Dr. Armstrong's own long Introduction serves equally as an indispensable preliminary guide to the fundamentals of Victorian criticism and as an authoritative summing-up of the debate on poetics conducted at large in the body of the book by the Victorians themselves. Detailed bibliographies for further reading are provided at the end of each main section.