"Emblematic Poetry" (British Library's English Timeline)

The British Library’s Interactive English Timeline presents fascinating glimpses of important moments in the evolution of the English language. I think this could be a really interesting teaching tool for a Victorian literature course and I would especially want to point my students to what the BL has called “Nineteenth-century Text Message Poetry” from 1867:

“The poem ‘Essay to Miss Catharine Jay’ will look familiar to anyone with a mobile phone, even though it was written 125 years before text messaging was invented. Some lines are tricky for modern readers to interpret, but many are not, such as the phrase ‘I wrote 2 U B 4’ in line 6” (British Library).

While you’re at the British Library page, be sure to also check out some other Victorian-related online resources including “Dickens in Context” and “Books for Cooks.”


3 thoughts on “Victorian “Text Message Poetry” at the British Library’s site

  1. Ha! That’s fun, Gregory. “how would I even breathe on the moon?” does seem like a true Janian reply.

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