This coincided with a notable rise in medical literature specifically concerned with the pathological heart, and with the development of new techniques and instruments of investigation such as the stethoscope. As poets feared for the health of their own hearts, their poetry embodies concerns about a widespread culture of heartsickness in both form and content. In addition, concerns about the heart's status and actions reflect upon questions of religious faith and doubt, and feed into issues of gender and nationalism. This book argues that it is vital to understand how this wider culture of the heart informed poetry and was in turn influenced by poetic constructs. Individual chapters on Barrett Browning, Arnold, and Tennyson explore the vital presence of the heart in major works by these poets--including, Aurora Leigh, "Empedocles on Etna," In Memoriam, and Maud--while the wide-ranging opening chapters present an argument for the mutual influence of poetry and physiology in the period and trace the development of new theories of rhythm as organic and affective.