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Rudyard Kipling's volumes of poetry have always sold in remarkable numbers; but literary critics have devoted no sustained attention to Britain's last popular poet. His poetry is usually seen as a failure to be something else, as lacking in the qualities of high literature. Ann Parry examines the poems and how they succeed as popular political poems; explores their origins in particular political circumstances; and analyzes their reception by different reading publics, social and cultural environments of late Victorian and early 20th century England. By placing the literary product in the historical moment she provides important insights into what constituted the "popular" in the period and into the development of the ideology of Englishness. Last, but not least, she gives Kipling his due as a political poet.
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