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"The Magic of the Music": Sonnets by Mary Alice Vialls
by Jean Kreiling

mong the countless poems inspired by "the magic of the music," those that address specifically identified individual musical works make up a significant subset, and a small niche within that category is occupied by sonnets. Ten such sonnets, addressing music by Beethoven, Chopin, Wagner, and others, came from the pen of an obscure but versatile English writer named Mary Alice Vialls (1861-1929). Although Vialls' half-dozen books, including two volumes of poetry, have failed to win her a prominent foothold in literary history, her poems about music reveal both sensitivity and skill. Contained within her 1899 collection titled Music Fancies and Other Verses, the sonnets on individual pieces express thoughtful responses to music of the nineteenth century, despite an occasional excess of sentimentality and some awkward and now-dated language. Considered as a whole, Vialls' poetry explores a variety of themes and demonstrates a thorough mastery of form, but the sonnets on music offer especially original approaches to their subjects. Each one constitutes a glimpse into the reception history of a particular musical work, and together they illustrate the sonnet form's capacity for expressive contemplation of another art.

Mary Alice Vialls wrote poetry, short stories, translations, and journalism, her published work spanning the years 1896 to 1926, but she does not appear in standard literary references, even those focusing on minor poets or the work of women. Little information about her life has been recorded beyond the dates of her birth (June 8, 1861, announced in The Northampton Mercury) and death (April 13, 1929, noted in an obituary discussed below). However, her work as a journalist earned her a place in an on-line biographical dictionary of British and Irish journalists, according to which Vialls was born in Kentish Town, London, daughter of a long-time Master of Merchant Taylors School, an independent day school for boys (Dyas). (Correspondence with Merchant Taylors School has yielded no further information about Vialls or her family.) The same online dictionary identifies Vialls as a sub-editor of the Annals of the Association for the Propagation of the Faith, a publication of the Roman Catholic Church. An obituary in the Annals specifies that Vialls' work editing the Annals and the Catholic Missions spanned the last decade and a half of her life ("Requiescant" 17); her 1926 book, In a King's Garden: Tales of the Missions, consists of inspirational stories that had first appeared in the Catholic Missions. The obituary also notes Vialls' facility with languages and her devotion to the church; an accompanying "Appreciation" praises her unselfish attentions to friends and acquaintances (Dinnis 17-18).

Vialls' interests extended to literature in several languages, as evidenced by the translations in Music Fancies and Other Verses. These include English renditions of excerpts from Dante's Divina Commedia and Heinrich Heine's Lyrisches Intermezzo, along with poems by François Coppée and Théophile Gautier. The Heine poems have a musical connection: they were set by Robert Schumann in his 1840 song cycle Dichterliebe, Op. 48. Vialls also translated a history of modern Italy and the memoirs of two European mountain climbers. In yet another connection between Vialls and music, one of those mountaineers, Leone Sinigaglia, was also a composer. In a rare review of Vialls' writing, an anonymous commentator assessed her translation of Sinigaglia's Climbing in the Dolomites as "more than satisfactory" ("In High Altitudes" 84).

Vialls' original poetry also suggests a wide-ranging imagination. Music Fancies and Other Verses contains thirty-two original poems, which address not only individual works of music, but also art, literature, faith, and exotic locales. Vialls' second book of poetry, The Burden of Demos and Other Verses (1905), considers musicians—along with war, death, travel, and the seasons—but not individual works of music. Among the poems on music in Music Fancies, a handful concern subjects other than individual works, as in "To an Old Spinet" (35-7), "Some Mazurkas" (15), and "Russian Songs" (3). A bent for narrative appears in the lengthy ballads "The Rhyme of the Phantom Ship" (38-52) and "A Ballad of a Poet" (17-25). In "The 'Old' Woman" (85-6), a poem whose title apparently refers to an old-fashioned rather than elderly woman, the speaker might plausibly be identified with Vialls herself, or at least her traditional poetic style. This "old" woman "does not aim at being 'new'"; she does not "talk the latest slang" or "yearn for 'women's rights.'" In a clearly didactic tone, the speaker urges her "newer" sisters to abandon such "novelties" and instead "wear the antique virtues fair / That are her crowning grace." A similar respect for tradition can be observed in the regular patterns of rhyme and meter featured in all of Vialls' poetry; the Petrarchan sonnet form frames several of her poems, including all of those on specific pieces of music.

The music that inspired Vialls presumably reflects, to some degree, the tastes of her time. These preferences often concur with current opinion, but not always. For example, her poems on works by Louis Spohr (1784-1859) and Charles Wood (1866-1926) remind us of composers who once enjoyed greater fame than they do today. Moreover, her attention to the music of Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) departs from the present focus on Boito's achievements as a librettist rather than a composer. But Vialls also wrote poems on music by Beethoven, Chopin, and Wagner, whose works remain widely known and highly esteemed today, and one on a piece by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), whose choral music still finds enthusiastic audiences. When Vialls' sonnets on individual pieces of music were published in 1899, three of the composers in question were still living (Boito, Stanford, and Wood); Wagner, whose music is the subject of three poems, had died only sixteen years earlier. Obviously predating the late twentieth-century revival of interest in early music, Vialls wrote about no music earlier than that of Beethoven.

In general, Vialls' poems on individual musical works celebrate music's expressive powers. Music communicates the rapture of love ('"Adelaide,' Beethoven"), advises spiritual seekers ("Nocturne, Op. 37, No. 1, Chopin"), and imparts the sweetness of the Holy Grail ("Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner"). In addition, music can convey paradoxes: the coexistence of riotous fun and reverent worship ("Overture to 'Tannhäuser,' Wagner") and the apparent simultaneity of past and present ("'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Charles Wood"). Moreover, music can both lament loss ("Waltz, Op. 69, No. 1, Chopin") and calm one's feelings of regret and longing ("Barcarolle, Spohr"). And music links us to remote worlds, including a sixteenth-century battle at sea ("'The Revenge,' C. Villiers Stanford") and ancient Crimea ("'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Charles Wood"). An Appendix below lists all of Vialls' poems on individual musical works and summarizes their themes.

While none of Vialls' poems should be considered practical guides for listening, three of the four sonnets inspired by opera might prove enlightening to the reader, as they link purely orchestral pieces with the vocal dramas they introduce. (The fourth poem concerning opera celebrates the "Prize Song," a vocal piece, from Wagner's Die Meistersinger.) In each of these three poems, Vialls' ostensible subject is not the main body of the opera—the vocal part, including arias, recitatives and choruses—but the opening instrumental "overture" (Wagner's Tannhäuser), "prelude" (Wagner's Lohengrin), or "prologue" (Boito's Mefistofele). However, Vialls' musings on these orchestral pieces were clearly shaped by the words subsequently sung in the operas. Thus, each poem represents an interpretation of purely instrumental sounds based on the story they introduce, and so each offers hints for informed listening. "Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner" may illustrate this point most clearly. Many listeners without any prior knowledge of Lohengrin might describe the quiet, high-pitched beginning of the Prelude as "mysterious," the first word in Vialls' poem (6). (A performance of the Prelude conducted by Claudio Abbado can be heard here.) But the first line also includes the word "benedictions," a term whose spiritual connotations are reinforced in the next few lines by phrases such as "questing feet" and "the hush / Of angels' pinions." These images must reflect a familiarity with the opera's plot, specifically Lohengrin's identity as a knight of the Holy Grail, revealed in Act III. The sonnet's sestet confirms this theory, as the last four lines explicitly link the listener's perception of the overture to the central symbol of the drama to follow:

The wondrous sequence of those mighty chords
The listener's soul is with such gladness filling,
Even as from the Grail of old was shed
Sweetness and radiance unexpressed in words.

In that final line, the poet seems to insist that the Prelude's very lack of words makes it a particularly appropriate vehicle for the expression of profound emotion. (The somewhat awkward grammar of the lines above recurs elsewhere in these poems, a feature to be discussed further below.)

"Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner" contains only two musical terms, the words "tones" and "chords." Typical of poetry addressing individual works of music, none of the poems considered here include more than a few explicitly musical details. The appeal of these poems, and perhaps their greatest value, lies not in their musical descriptions, but in their illumination of individual listening experiences, some especially imaginative or idiosyncratic. Vialls' response to Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 37, No. 1, offers a good example of her creative approach to listening. (The Nocturne can be heard in a performance by Claudio Arrau, here.) While many listeners hear poignant melancholy in this Nocturne, Vialls translates that mood into striking imagery:

Nocturne, Op. 37, No. l, Chopin

"O wayfarers, say, whither are ye wending,
By what laborious roads and pathways blind,
Whereon your wearied feet the sharp stones find
And thorns hedge all your course: whence is it tending,
That toil-fraught path ye tread? 'Tis never-ending,
Full chill upon it blows a deathly wind,
Above its sterile waste shines no sun kind,
And over it an iron heaven is bending."

So doth the music question, but it saith
Likewise: "Bewildered souls who, straying, roam,
Hear yet the warning voice which calls you back
To the old fold; the master-key of faith
Alone will ope the gate that guides you home:
Seek it, and find again the ancient track." (11-12)

A brief explication demonstrates the poet's close attention to the music. The poem begins by questioning the wayfarers about their destination, noting that their laborious journey is plagued by "sharp stones" and a "deathly wind"; the phrase "iron heaven" offers an especially strong image. One can safely surmise that the grim atmosphere of the octave was provoked by the Nocturne's minor key and the footstep-like sound of the accompaniment's regular rhythms. But nothing in the octave identifies the specific inspiration for the poem; except for the words "music" and "key" (which do not appear until the sestet), the poem contains no musical references at all. Only when the sestet begins does the source of the octave's inquiry become clear: "So doth the music question …." The music also provides the answer, which makes up the rest of the sestet. Those who stray are urged to find the "master-key of faith," which opens the gate that will guide them home along an "ancient track." The sestet's invocation of faith may be traced to the distinctively different sounds in the Nocturne's hymn-like middle section: the simpler rhythms, a new and resolute-sounding major key, and full, steady chords. The poet's reaction to and representation of these musical qualities finds an uncanny echo almost a century later, in a description of the piece by Chopin scholar Jim Samson, who wrote, "Here funeral march and chorale stand side by side" (209).

The language and grammar of this sonnet require some attention. The sometimes archaic language may well reflect a deliberate choice. Words like "whither," "ye," and "doth" may have been chosen for their Biblical tone, appropriately evoking the solemn image of a journey of faith (though echoes of Shakespeare or Tennyson might also be heard in these lines). However, some awkwardly inverted grammar seems more symptomatic of forced meter and/or rhyme than careful expression; line seven notes the absence of the sun on the wayfarers' path this way: "Above its sterile waste shines no sun kind."

While Chopin's Nocturne concludes with a very slightly altered restatement of its first section, creating a rounded ternary (ABA) form, Vialls' sonnet does not, of course, return to its original question to the wayfarers. Calvin Brown, who wrote extensively on poetry about music, complained that Vialls' failure to mirror the Nocturne's return to its original minor-key style creates a great "distortion for the sake of sonnet-form and morality" (40-41). But Vialls clearly did not intend to imitate musical form, or to provide a comprehensive description or explication of the Nocturne. Instead, she used the sonnet form to accommodate a question-and-answer approach to her contemplation of the music. Certainly her sonnet's turn in the ninth line (where the "answer" begins) does mirror a similar shift in the Nocturne. But the poem's turn signals a change in geographical direction, and movement towards a narrative goal—not, as in the music, a stylistic departure that will require a subsequent return for purposes of symmetry, a more abstract and musical goal.

Such formal considerations remind us that the history of the sonnet includes a probable link to musical form (Baer 153; Fuller 4-5; Levin xl; Spiller 16), though that connection has been debated at some length. While "sonnet" is typically translated as "little song," scholar Paul Oppenheimer called the sonnet "the first lyric form since the fall of the Roman Empire intended not for music or performance but for silent reading" (3). Similarly, Stephen Burt and David Mikics, editors of a recent collection of sonnets, assert that "the sonnet …was no song. It was asymmetrical, suited to meditative logic rather than music" (7). In any case, sonnets on individual works of music seldom reflect attempts to imitate musical forms, and despite Calvin Brown's objections, a poem on a musical subject should certainly be assessed primarily in literary terms.

Except for Calvin Brown, almost no critics have assessed Vialls' literary skills. A brief appraisal of Music Fancies and Other Verses did appear in The Glasgow Herald in 1899. The anonymous reviewer wrote,

The authoress of this volume is showered with a ready gift of versification. She writes with facility, and often with felicity, so that her work has a certain charm, and is easy to read, and never difficult to understand. Her faculty is, however, reproductive rather than creative. But that is a characteristic of many excellent poets (12).

The reference to a "reproductive" faculty may apply particularly to the poems on music, which do not exactly imitate their sources, but certainly take their emotional substance from the those musical works. The reviewer more specifically addresses the poems on music as follows: "The poetic interpretation of music is not always an easy feat, but the author in this case has been fairly successful."

A modern reader might give the poems mixed reviews, for a number of reasons. First, some readers might consider Vialls' poetry overly effusive, or lacking in nuance. Notably, a friend of the poet, in a posthumous tribute to her, conceded that "where she approved, her appreciations were sometimes over-generous—the intensity of her nature made it so" (Dinnis 17). The poem on the Chopin Nocturne, for example, might seem to imply that a single brief piece of music might restore an individual's unsteady faith. In the octave of "'Adelaide,' Beethoven," Vialls' extravagant assessment of music's power is more direct:

Here swells the rapture that once thrilled the breast
Of one who opened some sweet paradise
And felt th'effulgence blind his dazzled eyes,
And in such revelation was most blest…(4)

On the other hand, the sestet of this poem asserts the immortality of music, a sentiment that will certainly find agreement among many listeners: "So shall this song …bide / As long as Love shall rule, nor pass away" (4). Similarly, one might accuse Vialls of overstatement in "Overture to 'Tannhäuser,' Wagner," as the sestet begins: "Surely th' eternal mystery of life / In these conflicting sounds is once more told …" (8). Perhaps the poet claims too much—but many listeners would at least concede that the dramas and enigmas of music often do resonate with those of real life.

More objectively, one may observe Vialls' skillful use of iambic pentameter, with occasional substitutions and enjambments that generally prevent monotony. But some straining for consistency of meter may be observed in several instances of strangled syntax (as in the lines quoted above from the poems on Wagner's Lohengrin and the Chopin Nocturne). In addition, awkward contractions (as in "th'effulgence" in the Beethoven poem) and the pronunciations indicated by accent marks (e.g., "charméd" in the Spohr poem) create similarly strained lines.

With regard to rhyme, Vialls adhered consistently to the Petrarchan scheme (abbaabba cdecde), with some of the rhymes slant, but most of them true. Many of the rhymes lack distinction (for example, "cry" and "sigh," "home" and "roam," "years" and "tears"), but others create felicitous emphases. In "'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Charles Wood," Vialls called attention to the remoteness of the setting by rhyming the phrases "alien land" and "choric band" (5), with the word "choric," a synonym for "choral," likely chosen for its archaic flavor. The poem titled "Barcarolle, Spohr," based on a piece whose title evokes the song of a Venetian gondolier, reinforces its water-related imagery with the rhyme of "dune" and "lagoon" (16). To establish an atmosphere in which angels' wings accompany "questing feet" in "Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner," Vialls created a bit of onomatopoeia with "hush" and "rush," and then added the fervor of a "mystic flush" (6).

The modern reader might complain that Vialls' diction gives some of these poems a quaint or dated sound, with words like "frustrate" (14) for the modern "frustrated" and "noiseful" (4) for "loud." But as already noted, the especially archaic sound of the poem on the Chopin Nocturne seems a deliberate and effective choice. And many other words seem especially well-chosen, as in the use of "choric" already noted, and in another poem's evocative description of a sea "Chafing with futile rage" (10). Another admirable turn of phrase calls attention to a dramatic melody, heard as the "cry / Of erring human souls, made hoarse by tears" (1). Of course, assessments of poetic quality will often remain somewhat subjective—and so Vialls might be praised for skillful alliteration or derided for sentimentality in this line from her poem on a waltz by Chopin: "They grieve for golden dreams now dead" (14).

Imagery must be counted a particular strength in these poems, often providing not only an effective unifying device, but also a well-chosen objective correlative for the indefinite meanings of music. In the sonnet on Chopin's Nocturne, the travelers' difficult journey vividly supports the posited connection of the music to faith. In "'Iphigenia in Tauris,' Charles Wood," an ancient land is evoked with "columned temples" and "lustrous laurels," images that also illustrate the remote dignity of the music's "measured tread" (5). The water imagery in the poem about a Barcarolle aptly illustrates music's power to bring back memories, beginning with these lines: "Once more it sounds …the tune / The tide forever sings upon the dune" (16). As that poem continues, the speaker surrenders to a languorous contentment associated with the scene, and the sestet explains that "The magic of the music brings it back." (Violinist Anna Tanaka plays the Barcarolle here.)

Vialls' handling of the traditional "turn" in the Petrarchan sonnet demonstrates a careful use of poetic form. In the remarkably consistent Petrarchan framework of all Vialls' sonnets on individual musical works, one can observe the versatility of that design. For example, the question-and-answer structure of "Nocturne, Op. 37, No. 1, Chopin," described above, uses the ninth line to create both a dramatic break and a sense of momentum. Like that poem, two others also introduce the music itself for the first time in the ninth line ("Waltz, Op. 69, No. 1, Chopin" and "Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner"). In other sonnets, the ninth line brings in the figure of the composer for the first time ("Prize-Song from 'Die Meistersinger,' Wagner"), or shifts from a contemplation of music's specific effects to a claim for its enduring power ("'Adelaide,' Beethoven" and "Overture to 'Tannhäuser,' Wagner").

The ninth line of "'The Revenge,' C. Villiers Stanford" turns from the natural world to the human heart—just one notable element of this intriguing example of Vialls' work. This sonnet merits detailed scrutiny, as it deals with large-scale drama in a thoughtful and perhaps unexpected fashion, while suggesting the complex possibilities for relationships between music and poetry. The poem's musical subject, The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet, Op. 24, written by Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford in 1886, calls for voices and orchestra; its text comes from an epic poem of the same title by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (25-30). With shifting keys, dynamics, tone colors, and textures, Stanford's music reinforces the themes of Tennyson's poem: the bravery of the gallant Sir Richard Grenville, the grim prospect of the lopsided battle, the violent conflict itself, and the tragic aftermath, including Sir Richard's burial at sea and the sinking of the Revenge.

The sea itself does not take center stage until near the end of Tennyson's poem, and near the end of Stanford's piece, but Vialls' sonnet deals almost entirely with the sea, as evoked by the music, while addressing the dramatic battle only obliquely:

"The Revenge," C. Villiers Stanford

The thunder of the tides reverberate,
The swirl of surging waves that spend their shocks
Forever 'gainst inexorable rocks,
And vainly fret their bounds determinate—
Chafing with futile rage insatiate
Against the barrier that each effort mocks—
The master in these harmonies unlocks,
And lets us hear the whole sea's life pulsate.

With it, in solemn unison, there beats
The restless human-heart—its battle song
Rings with the strength and glory of the sea—
That still unbaffled meets renewed defeats,
Waging vain war with powers unmoved and strong,
Striving for some majestic goal to be. (10)

Typical of Vialls' logical handling of form, the octave and sestet of this poem contemplate two different but related effects of Stanford's music: the piece is credited both with bringing to our ears the sound of the sea and with linking those sounds to the human heartbeat. First, the octave describes the "thunder" and "surging" of the sea, portraying its waves as "chafing" against rocks and other obstacles. Stanford's harmonies, the poem says, "unlock" these sounds so that we hear "the whole sea's life pulsate." The ensuing sestet does not mention Stanford's music directly, but connects the sounds and struggles of the sea, as portrayed in the music, with the "battle song" of the human heart. Significantly, this empathy between nature and mankind does not stem from a joyous victory or a satisfying resolution; it is a "solemn unison" forged in continuing battles. Vialls' words convey idealism and heroism, even while phrases such as "renewed defeats" and "vain war" allude to the futility of the battle in Tennyson's tale. (The phrase "to be" at the end of the final line, while somewhat awkward, might be read as a reinforcement of the poem's generally forward-looking tone.) Like Grenville and his men, the human heart maintains its dignity and honor.

However, the parallel between the human heart and the fighting men in Tennyson's story remains an implied one only, as Vialls' poem says nothing of the battle or the characters in Tennyson's poem. (One might argue that the "human heart" of Vialls' sestet belongs to the hero of the poem, but her grand and sometimes abstract language suggests a broader view, an observation of how human beings generally respond to the sea and to their own battles.) Unlike most poems on vocal works, which typically deal with the texts of such works more than the music, this one addresses the effects of the musical sounds themselves—their evocations of the sea and the human heart. This is arguably a more challenging endeavor than responding to a text, given the indefinable nature of musical sounds, and the subjective nature of their impact on listeners. Vialls' sonnet, based on a musical work that is itself based on a literary work, not only offers an inventive commentary on another artwork, but also gives the historical event a third artistic incarnation—one that is far removed from both the facts of the narrative and the technical details of the music, but nevertheless faithful to the imagery and spirit of both. It reminds us that poetry can address the other arts from a variety of perspectives, and that it inevitably reflects the uniqueness of each aesthetic experience.

Like many poems inspired by music, Vialls' sonnets narrate distinctive, personal listening experiences. A critic discussing the work of Jorge de Sena, who wrote many poems on individual musical works, described this approach as a type of "humanism":

Most of Sena's poems on all of the arts may be construed as deliberate attempts …to bring works of art down from the autonomous pedestal on which many have been enthroned—and reinstate them in the vital stage of human experience from which they sprang and to which they remit (Fagundes 13).

A poet's "human experience" of a particular piece will not necessarily match that of another listener, but the poet's creative response to a musical work may well supply thought-provoking metaphors and fresh insights—or may attract a first-time listener. Vialls' poetry, while sometimes old-fashioned and occasionally clumsy, offers both her own interpretations of music and evidence of the aesthetic of her day. In addition, her work demonstrates how the Petrarchan sonnet form can lend an asymmetrical but orderly shape to meditations on music, with patterns of rhyme, meter, and argument creating a well-crafted illusion of control over the ineffable qualities of music.


Information on Sonnets by Mary Alice Vialls Addressing Individual Musical Works

Title [and subject, if not clearly identified in title] Theme and division into octave (o) and sestet (s)
"'Adelaide,' Beethoven" [song, op. 46] The song's expression of love (o), and the music's endurance beyond "jarring discords" (s).
"Barcarolle, Spohr" [Barcarolle in G for violin and piano, op. 135, no. 1] The familiar "tune" of the natural world (o), as evoked by the music, which also calms regret and longing (s).
"'Iphigenia in Taurus,' Charles Wood" [incidental music to Euripides' drama] Experiencing Iphigenia's story and the Greek landscape (o), through dance and music (s).
"Nocturne, Op. 37, No. 1, Chopin" Wanderers questioned about their destination (o), and advised by the music to follow their faith home (s).
"Overture to 'Tannhäuser,' Wagner" Wild song interrupted and overpowered by a hymn (o), representing eternal mystery and conflicts (s).
"Prelude to 'Lohengrin,' Wagner" A mysterious quest (o) linked to music that gladdens the soul (s).
"Prize-Song from 'Die Meistersinger,' Wagner" An idyllic song that celebrates love and beauty (o), composed by one in the spell of youth (s).
"Prologue to 'Mefistofele,' Arrigo Boito" Fearful and unholy sounds (o) merged with "heavenly strains" (s).
"'The Revenge,' C. Villiers Stanford" [The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet, op. 24, for chorus and orchestra] The restlessness of the sea, as portrayed in the music (o), in unison with the human heart (s).
"Waltz, Op. 69, No. 1, Chopin" Nostalgia for glory and youth (o), expressed by music, which also laments for unfulfilled dreams (s).

Works Cited

I. Works (including translations) by Mary Alice Vialls.

Oris, Pietro. Modern Italy, 1748-1898. Trans. Mary Alice Vialls. London: T. F. Unwin, 1900.

Sinigaglia, Leone. Climbing Reminiscences of the Dolomites. Trans. Mary Alice Vialls. London: T. F. Unwin, 1896.

Vialls, Mary Alice. The Burden of Demos, and Other Verses. London: David Nutt, 1905.

Vialls, Mary Alice. Music Fancies and Other Verses. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Company, 1899.

Vialls, Mary Alice. In a King's Garden: Tales of the Missions. London: Sands & Company, 1926.

Zurbriggen, Mattias. From the Alps to the Andes: Being the Autobiography of a Mountain Guide. Trans. Mary Alice Vialls. London: T. F. Unwin, 1899.

II. Other works cited.

Anonymous. [Birth announcement.] The Northampton Mercury, June 15, 1861.

Anonymous. "In High Altitudes [Review]." The Graphic, January 16, 1897, 84.

Anonymous. "Music Fancies, and Other Verses. By Mary Alice Vialls [Review]." The Glasgow Herald, June 6, 1899, p. 12. Web.

Anonymous. "Requiescant in Pace, Miss M. A. Vialls, Sub-Editor of the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith." Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, A Periodical Collection of Letters from the Bishop and Missionaries Engaged in, and News from, Catholic Foreign Missions No. 527, Vol. XCI (July 1929): 16-17. Obituary kindly provided by Ms. Mary Rafat, Legacy Administrator, Missio.

Baer, William, ed. Sonnets: 150 Contemporary Sonnets. Evansville, IN: University of Indiana Press, 2005.

Brown, Calvin. Tones into Words. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1953.

Burt, Stephen, and David Mikics. The Art of the Sonnet. Cambridge: Belknap, 2010.

Dinnis, Enid. "An Appreciation," in Annals of the Propagation of the Faith: A Periodical Collection of Letters from the Bishop and Missionaries Engaged in, and News from, Catholic Foreign Missions 91/527 (July 1929): 17-18.

Dyas, Eamon. "Vialls, Mary Alice, Miss (c.1861-1929)." Scoop: The People Behind the News Headlines. Web.

Fagundes, Francisco Cota. A Poet's Way with Music: Humanism in Jorge de Sena's Poetry. Providence: Gávea-Brown, 1988.

Fuller, John. The Sonnet: The Critical Idiom. London: Methuen, 1972.

Levin, Phillis, ed. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English. NY: Penguin, 2001.

Oppenheimer, Paul. The Birth of the Modern Mind: Self, Consciousness, and the Invention of the Sonnet. NY: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Samson, Jim. Chopin. NY: Schirmer Books, 1996.

Spiller, Michael R. G. The Development of the Sonnet. London: Routledge, 1992.

Tennyson, Alfred Lord. The Poems of Tennyson. Ed. Christopher Ricks. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

Mary Alice Vialls
Years: 1861-1929
Birthplace: England
Language(s): English
Forms: Sonnet, rhymed quatrains, other rhymed and metrical stanzas
Subjects: Music, art, travel, war
Entry By: Jean L. Kreiling
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