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A Companion to Romantic Poetry



A Companion to Romantic Poetry

Charles Mahoney (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-39064-3 December 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 640 Pages

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Through a series of 34 essays by leading and emerging scholars, A Companion to Romantic Poetry reveals the rich diversity of Romantic poetry and shows why it continues to hold such a vital and indispensable place in the history of English literature.
  • Breaking free from the boundaries of the traditionally-studied authors, the collection takes a revitalized approach to the field and brings together some of the most exciting work being done at the present time
  • Emphasizes poetic form and technique rather than a biographical approach
  • Features essays on production and distribution and the different schools and movements of Romantic Poetry
  • Introduces contemporary contexts and perspectives, as well as the issues and debates that continue to drive scholarship in the field
  • Presents the most comprehensive and compelling collection of essays on British Romantic poetry currently available

List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction 1
Charles Mahoney

Part I Forms and Genres 7

1 Mournful Ditties and Merry Measures: Feeling and Form in the Romantic Short Lyric and Song 9
Michael O’Neill

2 Archaist-Innovators: The Couplet from Churchill to Browning 25
Simon Jarvis

3 The Temptations of Tercets 44
Charles Mahoney

4 To Scorn or To “Scorn not the Sonnet” 62
Daniel Robinson

5 Ballad Collection and Lyric Collectives 78
Steve Newman

6 Satire, Subjectivity, and Acknowledgment 95
William Flesch

7 “Stirring shades”: The Romantic Ode and Its Afterlives 107
Esther Schor

8 Pastures New and Old: The Romantic Afterlife of Pastoral Elegy 123
Christopher R. Miller

9 The Romantic Georgic and the Work of Writing 140
Tim Burke

10 Shepherding Culture and the Romantic Pastoral 159
John Bugg

11 Ear and Eye: Counteracting Senses in Loco-descriptive Poetry 176
Adam Potkay

Part II Production and Distribution, Schools and Movements 195

12 “Other voices speak”: The Poetic Conversations of Byron and Shelley 197
Simon Bainbridge

13 The Thrush in the Theater: Keats and Hazlitt at the Surrey Institution 217
Sarah M. Zimmerman

14 Laboring-Class Poetry in the Romantic Era 234
Michael Scrivener

15 Celtic Romantic Poetry: Scotland, Ireland, Wales 251
Jane Moore

16 Anglo-Jewish Romantic Poetry 268
Karen Weisman

17 Leigh Hunt’s Cockney Canon: Sociability and Subversion from Homer to Hyperion 285
Michael Tomko

18 Poetry, Conversation, Community: Annus Mirabilis, 1797–1798 302
Emily Sun

Part III Contemporary Contexts and Perspectives 319

19 Spontaneity, Immediacy, and Improvisation in Romantic Poetry 321
Angela Esterhammer

20 Celebrity, Gender, and the Death of the Poet: The Mystery of Letitia Elizabeth Landon 337
Ghislaine McDayter

21 Poetry and Illustration: “Amicable strife” 354
Sophie Thomas

22 Romanticism, Sport, and Late Georgian Poetry 374
John Strachan

23 “The science of feelings”: Wordsworth’s Experimental Poetry 393
Ross Hamilton

24 Romanticism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism 412
Laura Quinney

25 Milton and the Romantics 425
Gordon Teskey

Part IV Critical Issues and Current Debates 443

26 “The feel of not to feel it,” or the Pleasures of Enduring Form 445
Anne-Lise François

27 Romantic Poetry and Literary Theory: The Case of “A slumber did my spirit seal” 467
Marc Redfield

28 “Strange utterance”: The (Un)Natural Language of the Sublime in Wordsworth’s Prelude 483
Timothy Bahti

29 The Matter of Genre in the Romantic Sublime 503
Ian Balfour

30 Sexual Politics and the Performance of Gender in Romantic Poetry 521
James Najarian

31 Blake’s Jerusalem: Friendship with Albion 538
Karen Swann

32 The World without Us: Romanticism, Environmentalism, and Imagining Nature 554
Bridget Keegan

33 Ethical Supernaturalism: The Romanticism of Wordsworth, Heaney, and Lacan 572
Guinn Batten

34 The Persistence of Romanticism 589
Willard Spiegelman

Index 606

“It is hard to think of a more sensitive manipulation of the major feature that distinguishes these Blackwell anthologies from their direct rivals: the detailed annotations that accompany each author and text. … In O’Neill and Mahoney’s hands, the gloss is as much a prompt or a challenge, as it is a summary or exegesis. The hermeneutic impulse is checked, in favour of a form of attention that occurs more frequently in disciplines such as art history than in literary studies: the patient exposition of technical detail, generic make-up and social context, through which the expressive and the historical are taken to be inseparable…. The form of attention that O’Neill and Mahoney manifest is not only consistent, but also complementary. The former is particularly alert (as the example of Blake suggests) to metrical nuance and to strong ambiguity in a more general sense; the latter, meanwhile, shows a remarkable ear to the many echoes and allusions across and within texts.”  (Coleridge Bulletin, 1 June 2014)

"Comprising 625 pages and very nicely produced, it represents good value, and I believe that many of these thirty-four excellent essays will be consulted for years to come . . . It should interest a wide range of scholars and encourage them to find new ways of understanding, questioning, and celebrating its poetic legacy." (Review 19, 2011)

"With such a variety of content and depth of literary study, The Companion to Romantic Poetry should be of interest to general readers and students seeking an inspiring introduction to the poets of the romantic era, but also more informed scholars looking for a different perspective." (Reference Reviews, 2011)

"This volume is an excellent resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate study, providing a refreshing take on many conventional areas of Romantic scholarship whilst also introducing a welcome number of new perspectives on this diverse and fascinating literary genre." (Routledge ABES, 2011)

"Up to date and rich in foundations, this will be useful to students at any level. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." (Choice, 1 July 2011)