What are some of the formal qualities of this poem? Is it a blend of different genres and modes? (i. e., a novel in verse; a poetic sequence; a dramatic monologue; an epistolary poem; a comedy of manners)

Is what ways does Amours de Voyage differ from other poetic sequences of the period, such as “Sonnets from the Portuguese” or Tennyson’s  “The Princess”?  

What effect is created by the use of hexameter rhythms? What forms of patterning are substituted for rhymes?

What are some forms of humor used throughout? Are any of the poem’s humorous or anticlimactic effects accelerated by its rhythms?

Can you see parallels between plot devices used in Amours de Voyage and Aurora Leigh?

At the time this poem was published, what events had recently taken place in Italy and England? How would you describe Britain’s political atmosphere?

Would the poem’s setting and topic have appealed to Britons of the time? In particular, which class of British subjects would likely have travelled to Italy?

How are the circumstances of nineteenth-century transportation and communication systems used to further the plot?

What are some themes of the sequence? Which of these might seem unusual or innovative?

What purpose is served by the poems which begin and end each section?

What seems novel about the presentation of a young man who doesn’t entirely enjoy his trip abroad? The criticisms of St. Peter’s and the plethora of antiquities? Which buildings does he prefer?

Does he change his views about some of these landmarks and places later? (e. g., the Coliseum)

What kinds of cross-allusions and parallels do we find in these letters? What are some instances of humor or interest these provide?

What seem to be some features of Claude’s temperament and character? Does he develop or change throughout the sequence?

Are we expected to see him as a typical young man? A representative tourist? A person of his class or age group?

Is Claude presented as likeable? Witty? Honest? Unmanly? Anti-social? Do his self-descriptions always fit his exterior behavior?

Are there other male protagonists of the period who seem to exhibit similar indecision and ambivalence?

What is the effect of including letters by three people who don’t correspond with one another, and excluding the letters which presumably were written in answer?

What kinds of cross-allusions and parallels do we find in these letters? What are some instances of humor or interest these provide?

What if anything do we know about Claude’s past? His present occupation? (a serious art tourist; perhaps a future collector or critic)

How does Claude respond to the victory of the Italian revolutionary forces? To the conquest of Italy by France?

Would these have been typical views for a middle-class Englishman of his time?

To what extent do you think Claude’s political observations are those of the author? Are there ways in which Clough gently satirizes the reactions of his hero?

Is Claude heroic in the Carlyean sense? Would Clough’s Victorian readers have approved of, been repelled by, or been amused by his attitude toward joining the conflict?

Why do you think the author includes letters from both Georgina and Mary Trevellyan? How does their social world differ from that of the men?

Why can’t Claude and Mary simply correspond with one another by letter?

Are Claude and Mary in fact suited for one another? In what ways does each express ambivalence or uncertainty about their relationship?

Why does their romance peter out? Had it come to a successful conclusion, how would this have changed the tone of the sequence?

What is significant about the fact that Claude intends to leave for Egypt? Would this have been an unusual venture in 1848?

How are issues of social class and gender represented throughout the sequence?