Literature 1780-1830: the Romantic period

David Stewart, Ana A. Garza, Jason Whittaker, Oriane Smith, Gavin Budge, Felicity James, Amy Muse

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If Jerome McGann has been the most influential critic of Romantic poetry over the last twenty-five years, Marilyn Butler runs him a close second. Published in 2006 was an important collection of essays in her honour (Repossessing the Romantic Past, edited by Heather Glen and Paul Hamilton), and the years work on Romantic poetry as a whole shows just how pervasive her influence has been. Butlers careful juxtaposition of major canonical pieces within a wider matrix of the minor, marginal, or non-literary, is well continued in a year which includes a massive increase in Southey studies, an important collection of essays on Robert Bloomfield, and work which opens up a series of contexts to poetry on forgery, plagiarism, visual art and encounters with Native Americans. Inevitably, the scope of a tribute to Butler exceeds the scope of a section covering only poetry, and this study is further discussed in other sections of this chapter. There are essays on everything from Maria Edgeworth to Mizra Abu Taleb Khan, but Shelley and Coleridge also feature. Michael Rossington skilfully reconstructs Shelleys Marlow coterie and the contours of the debate over the meaning of English republicanism. Shelleys Charles the First, Rossington argues, was composed in a spirit of republicanism which moved beyond the religious debates of the seventeenth century towards a Europeanizing, analytically detached republic. Paul Hamilton reopens the case of Coleridges philosophy, arguing that his Christianity strongly affected his approach to Continental philosophy. Coleridge offers a conception of discourse that, for Hamilton, troubles current divisions of writing into political, aesthetic, and scientific categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-760
JournalYear's Work in English Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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