While anecdotes about George Meredith‘s personal interactions with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood have become stuff of legend, the degree to which his writing engages with the core tenets of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic principles has not been fully explored. This article takes up Meredith's first volume of verse, Poems (1851), published the year after the inaugural issue of The Germ, the PRB's influential organ, to consider the Pre-Raphaelite aspects of his early verse. It then turns to Meredith's under-discussed art criticism from the Westminster Review, which has telling parallels with Margaret Oliphant‘s work in Blackwood's. Both weighed in on Pre-Raphaelite art in the early years of the movement, but Meredith's forward-looking embrace of the Brotherhood and its principles stands in contrast to Oliphant's more conservative reaction to their artwork.
- George Meredith
- Margaret Oliphant