• Bottrall, Margaret (ed.) Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1975

    This is in the Casebook Series, which gives edited essays from the past up to the present. So we get extracts of Hopkins' own letters; early criticism; then later criticism, including chapters on The Windhover, Tom's Garland, and The Terrible Sonnets. There is also a chapter trying to elucidate the mysteries of inscape. The series is designed more for undergraduates, but if you feel up to it, try a few chapters.

  • Gardner W.H. Gerard Manley Hopkins (2 volumes). London: Oxford University Press, 1949

    This is subtitled ‘A Study of Poetic Idiosyncrasy in Relation to Poetic Tradition', which gives you an idea of how erudite the book is. Volume I contains a long chapter on The Wreck of the Deutschland, some of which is quite technical; a chapter on Diction and Syntax; and one on Themes and Imagery. Volume II gives some of Hopkins' background and considers his achievement. It's best to use the index and just select exactly what you're looking for. If you're an undergraduate, then you could grapple with more, but you need to be doing a postgraduate study to read the whole work. But it still is the standard work on Hopkins.

  • White, Norman. Hopkins: A Literary Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992

    This is one of those useful books that combine biography with intelligent comments on the poems in the order in which he wrote them. Again, best to use the index and just go for exactly what you need as the book is some 500 plus pages long.

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