Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series
The Cliffs of Solitude offers a comprehensive assessment of the career of one of America's most neglected major poets, Robinson Jeffers. Jeffers' reputation, once one of the most substantial in American letters, was founded chiefly on the publication of 'Tamar' (1924) and the other verse narratives of the California coast that followed it in the next two decades. Most previous studies have cast no more than a backward glance at the considerable body of work that preceded 'Tamar', much of which was presumed to be lost. The recent recovery of major portions of Jeffers' verse drama 'The Alpine Christ', however, as well as a significant quantity of other early material, compels reassessment of this phase of his career and casts the mature poetry in a radically altered light. Such an attempt is particularly timely now that the rhetoric of modernist criticism, which tended for so long to obscure the scope and importance of Jeffers' achievement, has itself receded into the historical record.