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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), dramatist, novelist and critic was late Victorian England's unofficial Poet Laureate. Swinburne was admired by his contemporaries for his technical brilliance, his facility with classical and medieval forms, and his courage in expressing his sensual, erotic imagination. He was one of the most important Victorian poets, the founding figure for British aestheticism, and the dominant influence for fin-de-siecle and many modernist poets. This collection of eleven new essays by leading international scholars offers a thorough revaluation of this fascinating and complex figure. It situates him in the light of current critical work on cosmopolitanism, politics, form, Victorian Hellenism, gender and sexuality, the arts, and aestheticism and its contested relation to literary modernism. The essays in this collection reassess Swinburne's work and reconstruct his vital and often provocative contribution to the Victorian cultural debate.