Okay, so, researching the Victorian book. I’ve decided my first priority is to come up with something to call it other than “the Victorian book.”
The simultaneous convenience and inconvenience of the Onyx Court books is that I know where to go looking for a title (period literature), but I have to go look. I can’t just make one up. We therefore come to the first Request for Help of this round: what mid-Victorian literature should I read in search of a title?
My preference is for poetry over prose, because it’s more likely to have a short, evocative phrase that I can spin out; fiction (especially in the Victorian era) is rather too fond of going on at length. The book will probably start circa 1870, so I’d like material no later than that. No specific limit on how early it could be, but I’m trying to avoid going as early as the Romantics. So who was writing good (and preferably non-pastoral) poetry around 1840-1870?