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A History of Romantic Literature

Frederick Burwick

ISBN: 978-1-119-04435-2 August 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 544 Pages

Hardcover
Pre-order
CAD $156.00

Description

Historical Narrative Offers Introduction to Romanticism by Placing Key Figures in Overall Social Context 

Going beyond the general literary survey, A History of Romantic Literature examines the literatures of sensibility and intensity as well as the aesthetic dimensions of horror and terror, sublimity and ecstasy, by providing a richly integrated account of shared themes, interests, innovations, rivalries and disputes among the writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Drawing from the assemblage theory, Prof. Burwick maintains that the literature of the period is inseparable from prevailing economic conditions and ongoing political and religious turmoil, as well as developments in physics, astronomy, music and art. Thus, rather than deal with authors as if they worked in isolation from society, he identifies and describes their interactions with their communities and with one another, as well as their responses to current events. By connecting seemingly scattered and random events such as the bank crisis of 1825, he weaves the coincidental into a coherent narrative of the networking that informed the rise and progress of Romanticism. Notable features of the book include:

  • A strong narrative structure divided into four major chronological periods: Revolution, 1789-1798; Napoleonic Wars, 1799-1815; Riots, 1815-1820; Reform, 1821-1832
  • Thorough coverage of major and minor figures and institutions of the Romantic movement (including Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Montague and the Bluestockings, Lord Byron, John Keats, Letitia Elizabeth Landon etc.)
  • Emphasis on the influence of social networks among authors, such as informal dinners and teas, clubs, salons and more formal institutions

With its extensive coverage and insightful analysis set within a lively historical narrative, History of Romantic Literature is highly recommended for courses on British Romanticism at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. It will also prove a highly useful reference for advanced scholars pursuing their own research.

Illustrations viii

Introduction 1

I Revolution (1789–1798) 22

The ‘Revolution Controversy’ 22

Newington Green Circle and Richard Price 25

Mary Wollstonecraft 26

Anna Laetitia Barbauld 29

Abolition Movement 30

Thomas Beddoes, Pneumatic Institution 38

Slave Trade, Opium Trade 41

Elizabeth Montagu and the Bluestockings 47

Helen Maria Williams 51

William Blake 54

Anna Seward 63

Dissenters 64

Historical Nodes 66

Corresponding Societies and Treason Trials 67

Erasmus Darwin 70

Charles Lloyd 72

John Thelwall 74

John Horne Tooke 75

Nonconformists 77

William Blake: Vision and Prophecy 78

George Crabbe 81

Thomas Holcroft 83

Gothic, Domestic Violence, Sadism 92

The Irish Rebellion 99

Coleridge at Cambridge 100

William Frend 101

John Tweddell and James Losh 103

Freedom of the Press 105

Letters of Junius 107

George Dyer 115

Mary Hays 120

Elizabeth Hamilton 127

Mary Robinson 127

Coleridge and Wordsworth 128

Joanna Baillie 136

Maria Edgeworth 139

Charlotte Smith 139

II Napoleonic Wars (1799–1815) 158

The French Consulate and Great Britain 158

Coalitions 159

Toussaint L’Ouverture 168

Peace of Amiens 168

The ‘Dejection’ Dialogue 171

The Growth of The Prelude 177

Back to Nature 188

Coleridge: Conversation Poems 190

Continental Romanticism 205

Jane Porter 211

Thomas Bewick 213

Moral Causality 214

1805: Connections and Coincidences 215

The Periodical Press 219

Exaltation and Exploitation of the Child 226

The Lecture 229

Lord Byron: ‘Fools are my theme, let satire be my song’ 234

The Novel 237

Interconnections: Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, George Crabbe, Joanna Baillie, Charlotte Smith, Anna Laetitia Barbauld 239

III Riots (1815–1820) 297

Waterloo 297

Corn Laws: Cobbett, Bamford, Wroe, Elliott 309

Lord Byron: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Cantos III and IV 313

Lord Byron: Manfred 318

Percy Bysshe Shelley 328

Samuel Rogers 333

Coleridge: Principles of Genial Criticism and Biographia Literaria 334

Coleridge: ‘Kubla Khan’ and ‘Christabel’ 339

Keats: Networking 349

Keats: Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion 351

Keats: ‘Eve of St. Agnes’ and Lamia 353

Keats: The ‘Great Odes’ 358

Belatedness 366

Wordsworth, Shelley, Reynolds: Peter Bell, First, Second, Third, and Fourth 367

Wordsworth: Benjamin the Waggoner 375

Cato Street Conspiracy 376

Leigh Hunt 381

March of the Blanketeers 383

Satire and the Gagging Acts 385

Shelley: Mask of Anarchy 388

Beau Brummell 388

Blake: Jerusalem 389

Shelley: Prometheus Unbound 393

IV Reform (1821–1832) 413

Trial of Queen Caroline 413

Shelley, Swellfoot the Tyrant 419

Shelley, Witch of Atlas 425

Byron, Don Juan 427

John Clare, The Village Minstrel 431

De Quincey, Confessions 433

Maria Edgeworth, Tomorrow 435

Charles Lamb: Essayist, Critic, Playwright 439

William Hazlitt, Spirit of the Age 447

Deaths: Keats, Napoleon, Shelley, Castlereagh, Byron, Radcliffe 451

Letitia Elizabeth Landon: Improvisatrice 453

Samuel Rogers: Italy 455

George Dyer 457

Mary Russell Mitford, Foscari 458

Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations 466

Panic of 1825 468

Felicia Hemans 470

Thomas Love Peacock, Misfortune of Elphin (1829) 472

Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Death’s Jest Book 475

Parliamentary Reform 478

Abolition 478

Deaths: Blake, Hazlitt, Scott, Goethe, Coleridge Crabbe, Lamb, Thelwall 479

Conclusion 489

Index 492