Date of Award

Summer 1969

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The following thesis is a critical study of seven sig­ nificant Victorian pessimistic poets. Having as its basis a seminar paper for Dr. Lewis F. Ball in which four of the Victorian pessimists were discussed, the original study was expanded in order to include the remaining three.

In this critical study, the emphasis has been placed mainly upon the themes characteristic of these pessimistic poets, and the poems that I consider to be the best examples of their various attitudes have been incorporated, either partially or in full, into the text of this thesis. Fur­thermore, though these chapters are not intended as critical biographies, some biographical facts have been included so that the poets' lives can be seen as influencing their thought and work.