Picturing the ‘English Roadside’: George Meredith’s Poetry and Once a Week

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This article suggests that the critical response to George Meredith’s Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside (1862) carries the residue of the well-loved illustrated versions of the Roadside poems that earlier appeared in the weekly journal Once a Week. These poems feature speakers whose ambivalence challenges ideals of simplistic nationalism and rustic folksiness, yet this idealism is amplified in the accompanying illustrations. Using “Juggling Jerry” and “The Old Chartist” as examples, this article considers the ways in which these illustrations inform the responses of later readers and critics of Meredith’s verse, at times overriding the content of the poems themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-254
JournalVictorian periodicals review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • George Meredith
  • Once a Week
  • Illustrated Periodicals


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