|BEATE ALLERT (Purdue) has recently edited a new
anthology entitled Comparative Cinema: How American
University Students View Foreign Films (Edwin Mellen,
2008). This anthology of primarily doctoral student essays
on European Film 1925-1965 demonstrates how analyzing film provides new insights into visual culture, world literature, and multiculturalism. The diversity of current theoretical debates in film, visual theory, and postmodernism is complemented by the work’s contributors’ varied backgrounds.
|IAN BALFOUR (York) has recently
edited a special issue of the South
Atlantic Quarterly devoted to Late Derrida (Duke, 2007). Featuring essays by leading scholars in Romantic studies, this special issue commemorates and interrogates—with varying measures of appreciation and critique—the late
work of the philosopher Jacques Derrida. Resisting simple memorialization of Derrida since his death in 2004, this collection contends that the late work of this prolific theorist remains to be better understood. The contributors explore the peculiar intensity—a combined sense of both patience and urgency—that characterizes Derrida’s late writing, suggestive, among other things, of his
preoccupation with mortality, of time running out, and of so many pressing things to be done. The essays address a wide array of Derrida’s concerns: human rights, justice, religion, the performative, “the gift of death,” mourning, and sovereignty. They often put Derrida’s texts in conjunction with the works of others—Wordsworth, Agamben, Schelling, and Benjamin, to name a few—that resonate with and on occasion resist Derrida’s own thinking and writing.
|ANDREW BENNETT (Bristol) has recently published Wordsworth Writing (Cambridge, 2007). In this book, Bennett challenges the popular conception of Wordsworth as a writer who didn’t so much write poetry as compose it aloud or in his head (usually while walking, and preferably while ascending mountains). The act and idea of writing is in fact central to the themes and to the rhetorical texture of Wordsworth’s poetry. This wideranging study considers various aspects of Wordsworth's compositional practice, including questions of revision and dictation, of monumental inscription and graffiti, of talking and thinking, and of the poet’s own theory of composition, and examines the implications of a critical tradition that erroneously assumes that Wordsworth employed exclusively ‘oral’ modes of composition. For Wordsworth, acts of writing were important dimensions of his poetry and indeed of his sense of personal and poetic identity. Bennett contends that a sustained attention to the question of writing in Wordsworth allows for compelling new readings of the major poems.|
|RICHARD BERKELEY (Knox College) has recently published Coleridge and the Crisis of Reason (Palgrave, 2007). This book examines Coleridge's understanding of the Pantheism Controversy − the crisis of reason in German philosophy − and reveals the context informing Coleridge's understanding of German thinkers. It challenges previous accounts of Coleridge's philosophical engagements, forcing a reconsideration of his reading of figures such as Schelling, Jacobi and Spinoza. This exciting new study establishes the central importance of the intested status of reason for Coleridge's poetry, accounts of the imagination and later religious thought.|
(Indiana) has recently translated
Alban Berg and Hanna Fuchs: The
Story of a Love in Letters (Indiana,
2008). In the fall of 1976, 14
letters by Alban Berg, renowned
composer of the Second Viennese
School, were discovered in the posthumous papers of Hanna Fuchs-Robettin, wife of a Prague industrialist and sister of Franz Werfel, the well-known Austro-Czech writer. In the 1920s Berg gained international notoriety with his opera Wozzeck and the Lyric Suite, which was largely inspired by his relationship with Fuchs. The secret letters were delivered to Hanna surreptitiously by Theodor Adorno and Alma Mahler Werfel. They were brought to New York by Hanna on her flight from Nazi persecution, and were eventually found in her estate after her death. First discovered by George Perle, then deciphered and transcribed in German by Constantin Floros, they appear here in English for the first time.
|CHRISTOPH BODE and SEBASTIAN DOMSCH (Munich) have recently edited British and European Romanticisms: Selected Papers of the Munich Conference of the German Society for English Romanticism (Trier, 2007). As the double plural of the title indicates, this volume addresses once more the problem of the irreducible heterogeneity not only of European Romanticisms but also of its British variants. Assembling selected papers from the 11th international Symposium of the German Society for English Romanticism, it is designed to deal with intriguing questions of cross- and countercurrents, of conspicuous non-contemporaneity, of unity in diversity, of difference and plurality. Combining case studies with more theoretical reflections, the collection marks a new stage in the reconceptualisation of Romanticism.|
|INGER BRODEY (North Carolina-Chapel Hill) has recently published Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility (Routledge 2008). By examining the motif of ruination in a variety of late-eighteenth-century domains, this book portrays the moral aesthetic of the culture of sensibility in Europe, particularly its negotiation of the demands of tradition and pragmatism alongside utopian longings for authenticity, natural goodness, self-governance, mutual transparency, and instantaneous kinship. This book argues that the rhetoric of ruins lends a distinctive shape to the architecture and literature of the time and requires the novel to adjust notions of authorship and narrative to accommodate the prevailing aesthetic. Just as architects of eighteenth-century follies pretend to have discovered "authentic" ruins, novelists within the culture of sensibility also build purposely fragmented texts and disguise their authorship, invoking highly artificial means of simulating nature. The cultural pursuit of human ruin, however, leads to hypocritical and sadistic extremes that put an end to the characteristic ambivalence of sensibility and its unusual structures.|
|RON BROGLIO (Georgia Tech) has recently published Technologies of the Picturesque: British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750-1830 (Bucknell 2008). This book examines how art and technology mutually align their representations of nature in order to transform land into intelligible landscapes. The author has selected three technological fields burgeoning in 18th century Britain whose influence on the picturesque aesthetic has been overlooked: cartography, meteorology, and animal breeding. Technologies of the Picturesque traces how these scientific fields influence the works of Wordsworth, Gilpin, Constable, Gainsborough and other key figures of the period. Technology and interior experience of the poetic subject overlap in their means and methods of removing the viewer from nature while presenting the land as a comprehensible object. With each chapter archival research is paired with a phenomenological critique of how representation abstracts from the lived engagement with the land and how artists are both complicit with such objectification of nature and at other moments work toward a more vivid connection to the environment.|
|JANE K. BROWN (Washington) has
recently published The Persistence of
Allegory: Drama and Neoclassicism from Shakespeare to Wagner(Pennsylvania, 2007). In an impressively comparative work, Brown explores the tension in European drama between allegory and neoclassicism from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. Imitation of nature is generally thought to triumph over religious allegory in the Elizabethan and French classical theatre, a shift attributable to the recovery of Aristotle’s Poetics in the Renaissance. But if Aristotle’s terminology was rapidly assimilated, Brown demonstrates that change in dramatic practice took place only gradually and partially and that allegory was never fully cast off the stage. The book traces a complex history of neoclassicism in which new allegorical forms flourish and older ones are constantly revitalized. Brown reveals the allegorical survivals in the works of such major figures as Shakespeare, Calderón, Racine, Vondel, Metastasio, Goethe, and Wagner and reads tragedy, comedy, masque, opera, and school drama together rather than as separate developments. Throughout, she draws illuminating parallels to modes of representation in the visual arts.
|FREDERICK BURWICK (UCLA) and JAMES C. MCKUSICK (Montana) have co-edited Faustus: From the German of Goethe (Oxford, 2007). This major work of German literature, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust (1808), was translated into English by one of Britain’s most capable mediators of German literature and philosophy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Goethe himself twice referred to Coleridge’s translation of his Faust. Goethe's character wrestles with the very metaphysical and theological problems that preoccupied Coleridge: the meaning of the Logos, the apparent opposition of theism and pantheism. Coleridge, the poet of tormented guilt, of the demonic and the supernatural, found himself on familiar ground in translating Faust. Because his translation reveals revisions and reworkings of Coleridge’s earlier works, his Faust contributes significantly to the understanding of Coleridge’s entire oeuvre. This edition of Coleridge's translation provides the textual and documentary evidence of his authorship, and presents his work in the context of other contemporary efforts at translating Goethe's Faust.|
|SALLY BUSHELL (Lancaster), JAMES A. BUTLER (La Salle), MICHAEL C. JAYE (Rutgers), and DAVID GARCÍA (Ithaca) have edited a new edition of The Excursion by William Wordsworth (Cornell, 2007). This edition, the twenty-first and final one in the Cornell Wordsworth Series, presents the first true scholarly edition of the original 1814 text. All pre-publication manuscripts produced under the author’s supervision are separately and completely transcribed in this edition. An introduction, a manuscript history, lists of printed verbal and nonverbal variants, extensive editors’ notes, and selected photographs of manuscripts also chronicle the poem's full evolution. In short, this edition makes it possible, for the first time, to follow the complete compositional history of Wordsworth’s epic.|
|MARK CANUEL (Illinois-Chicago) has recently published The Shadow of Death: Literature, Romanticism, and the Subject of Punishment (Princeton, 2007). The Shadow of Death is a timely and ambitious reassessment of English Romantic literature and the unique role it played in one of the great liberal political causes of the modern age. Mark Canuel argues that Romantic writers in Great Britain led one of the earliest assaults on the death penalty and were instrumental in bringing about penal-law reforms. He demonstrates how writers like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, and Jane Austen defined the fundamental contradictions that continue to inform today's debates about capital punishment.|
|JULIE CARLSON (UC, Santa Barbara) has recently published England’s First Family of Writers: Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Mary Shelley (Johns Hopkins, 2007). Life and literature were inseparable in the daily lives of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and Mary Shelley. In England’s First Family of Writers, Julie A. Carlson demonstrates how and why the works of these individuals can best be understood within the context of the family unit in which they were created. The first to consider their writing collectively, Carlson finds in the Wollstonecraft- Godwin-Shelley dynasty a family of writers whose works are in intimate dialogue with each other. For them, literature made love and produced children, as well as mourned, memorialized, and reanimated the dead. Construing the ways in which this family’s works minimize the differences between books and persons, writing and living, Carlson offers a nonsentimental account of the extent to which books can live and inform life and death. Carlson also examines the unorthodox clan’s status as England’s first family of writers. She explores how, over time, their reception has evinced ongoing public resistance to those who critique family values.|
|JEFFREY CASS (Louisiana-Monroe) and LARRY PEER (BYU) have recently co-edited Romantic Border Crossings (Ashgate, 2008). Romantic Border Crossings participates in the important movement towards 'otherness' in Romanticism, by uncovering the intellectual and disciplinary anxieties that surround comparative studies of British, American, and European literature and culture. As this diverse group of essays demonstrates, we can now speak of a global Romanticism that encompasses emerging critical categories such as Romantic pedagogy, transatlantic studies, and transnationalism, with the result that 'new' works by writers marginalized by class, gender, race, or geography are invited into the canon at the same time that fresh readings of traditional texts emerge. Exemplifying these developments, the authors and topics examined include Elizabeth Inchbald, Lord Byron, Gérard de Nerval, English Jacobinism, Goethe, the Gothic, Orientalism, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Anglo-American conflicts, manifest destiny, and teaching romanticism. The collection constitutes a powerful rethinking of the divisions that continue to haunt Romantic studies.|
|KEN CERVELLI (Mount Royal) has recently published Dorothy Wordsworth’s Ecology (Routledge, 2007). This book examines Dorothy Wordsworth’s life and writings from an ecological perspective, situating her within an ongoing ecocritical dialogue established by such critics as Jonathan Bate, James McKusick, and Karl Kroeber. Cervelli’s book considers the full range of Dorothy’s work—from her beloved Grasmere journals to A Narrative Concerning George and Sarah Green. Her poetry also receives special attention as the author establishes Wordsworth as an “ecopoet” worthy of close study.|
|Under the general editorship of STUART CURRAN (Pennsylvania), the last four of fourteen volumes comprising The Works of Charlotte Smith have recently been published (Pickering & Chatto, 2005-7). In recent years the central position held by Charlotte Turner Smith during the formative years of the British Romantic period has become increasingly clear. Although Wordsworth rightly foresaw her status as a poet “to whom English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to be either acknowledged or remembered,” in our time her fortune has turned and her poetry has been restored to the canon where it manifests a range of metrical experimentation and intellectual resilience unmatched by any other woman poet of the time. The Works of Charlotte Smith restores an essential voice in British Romanticism to the prominence she held in her own time, revealing a writer who wrote well in many genres, and, in whatever form she undertook, was innovative with the forms she inherited and strongly influential on those who followed her.|
|FRANCA DELLAROSA (Bari) has edited a volume of essays, entitled Poetic and Dramatic Forms in British Romanticism (Bari, 2007). British theatrical culture in the Romantic era constitutes a central focus in this collection, which also explores Romantic aesthetics and the theory and praxis of poetic genres. The essays are contributed by academics who took part in the Spring Seminars on Romanticism, a yearly event held at the University of Bari since 2001. They engage in the current debate, acknowledging the need for a revision of Romantic historiography which may account for the systemic relations between texts and wider cultural phenomena. The topics dealt with include both ‘canonical’ poetic and dramatic texts and texts by women playwrights, currently attaining new-canonical status.|
|NATASHA DUQUETTE (Taylor) has recently edited Sublimer Aspects: Interfaces between Literature, Aesthetics, and Theology (Cambridge Scholars, 2007). How did eighteenthcentury aesthetics come to so strongly influence not only the theology but also the practice of Christianity by the late nineteenth century? The twelve essays in Sublimer Aspects seek to answer this question by examining interfaces between literature, aesthetics, and theology from 1715-1885. In doing so, they consider the theological import of canonical writers - such as Daniel Defoe, Alexander Pope, Voltaire, and Immanuel Kant - as well as writers whose work is now experiencing a revival, namely women writers - including Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, Anne Bronte, Frances Ridley Havergal, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and Adelaide Procter. The volume concludes with essays on the possibility for hope within the Christian Romanticism of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle and George MacDonald, whose texts continue to cultivate a sense of wonder in new generations.|
|DANIEL J. ENNIS (Coastal Carolina) and JUDITH BAILEY SLAGLE (East
Tennessee) have recently edited Prologues, Epilogues, Curtain-Raisers,
and Afterpieces: The Rest of the Eighteenth-Century London Stage (Delaware, 2007). This collection of essays presents a fresh analysis of the complete theatre evening that was available to audiences in the Restoration in early nineteenthcentury playhouses. The contributing scholars focus not on the mainpiece, the advertised play itself, but on what surrounded the mainpiece for the “total” theatre experience of the day. Various critical essays address artistic disciplines such as dance and theatrical portraits, while others concentrate on peripheral performance texts—prologues, epilogues, pantomimes, and afterpieces—that merged to define the overall theatrical event. Daniel J. Ennis is an Associate Professor of English at Coastal Carolina University. Judith Bailey Slagle is Professor and Chair of English at East Tennessee State University.
|JOEL FAFLAK (Western Ontario) has recently published Romantic Psychoanalysis: The Burden of the Mystery (SUNY, 2007). In this provocative work, Faflak argues that Romanticism, particularly British Romantic poetry, invents psychoanalysis in advance of Freud. The Romantic period has long been treated as a time of incipient psychological exploration anticipating more sophisticated discoveries in the science of the mind. Romantic Psychoanalysis challenges this assumption by treating psychoanalysis in the Romantic period as a discovery unto itself, a way of taking Freud back to his future. Reading Romantic literature against eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophy, Faflak contends that Romantic poetry and prose—including works by Coleridge, De Quincey, Keats, and Wordsworth—remind a later psychoanalysis of its fundamental matrix in phantasy and thus of its profoundly literary nature.|
|MARY A. FAVRET (Indiana) has recently published War at a Distance: Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime (Princeton 2009). Timely and thought-provoking, War at a Distance considers how those left on the home front register wars and wartime in their everyday lives, particularly when military conflict remains removed from immediate perception, available only through media forms. Looking back over two centuries, Mary Favret locates the origins of modern wartime in the Napoleonic era and describes how global military operations affected the British populace, as the nation's army and navy waged battles far from home for decades. She reveals that the literature and art produced in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries obsessively cultivated means for feeling as much as understanding such wars, and established forms still relevant today.|
|MAX FINCHER (King's College) has recently published Queering Gothic in the Romantic Age: The Penetrating Eye (Palgrave, 2007). This new study argues that Gothic writing of the Romantic period is queer. Discussing a variety of texts, it argues that contemporary queer theory can help us to read the obliqueness and invisibility of same-sex desire in a culture of vigilance over transgressive sexuality. It articulates the complex manifestations of desire through examining the discourses of the body, in particular the gaze. Max Fincher shows how the Gothic's ambivalent gender politics destabilize heteronormative narratives and give a voice to queer desires.|
|ANNE-LISE FRANÇOIS (Berkeley) has
recently published Open Secrets: The
Literature of Uncounted Experience (Stanford, 2007). Open Secrets identifies an ethos of affirmative reticence and recessive action in Mme de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves (1678), Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (1814), and poems by William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, and Thomas Hardy. The author argues that these works locate fulfilment not in narrative fruition, but in grace understood both as a simplicity of formal means and a freedom from work, in particular that of self-concealment and self-presentation. Declining the twin pressures of selfactualization and self-denial defining modernity’s call to make good on one’s talents, the subjects of the “literature of uncounted experience” do nothing so heroic as renounce ambitions of self-expression; they simply set aside the fantasy of the all-responsible subject. The originality of Open Secrets is thus to imagine the non-instrumental without casting it as a heavy ethical burden. Nonappropriation emerges not as what is difficult to do but as the path of least resistance. The book offers a valuable counterpoint to recent anti-Enlightenment revaluations of passivity that have made non-mastery and nonappropriation the fundamental task of the ethical subject.
|ANDREW FRANTA (Utah) has recently published Romanticism and the Rise of the Mass Public (Cambridge, 2007). Dramatic changes in the reading public and literary market in early nineteenth-century England not only altered the relationship between poet and reader but prompted new conceptions of the poetic text, literary reception, and authorship. With the decline of patronage, the rise of the novel and the periodical press, and the emergence of the mass reading public, poets could no longer assume the existence of an audience for poetry. Andrew Franta examines how the reconfigurations of the literary market and the publishing context transformed the ways poets conceived of their audience and the forms of poetry itself. Through readings of Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Hemans, and Tennyson, and with close attention to key literary, political, and legal debates, Franta proposes a new reading of Romanticism and its contribution to modern conceptions of politics and publicity.|
|WILLIAM GALPERIN (Rutgers) has
recently edited a new edition of
Jane Austen’s Persuasion
(Longman, 2007). Galperin’s edition
presents Austen's classic work
along with a critical introduction
and contextual materials on and
from the period. Published posthumously in 1817 along with the much earlier Northanger Abbey, the novel contains a number of elements that proved puzzling to Austen’s nineteenth-century readers. The supplementary materials to this Longman Cultural Edition are intended to collaborate with Persuasion in addressing and exploring these interlocking worlds: moral, aesthetic, domestic, political, social, and military.
|GERALD GILLESPIE (Stanford), MANFRED ENGEL (Oxford) and BERNARD DIETERLE (Haute Alsace, Mulhouse) have recently edited Romantic Prose Fiction (John Benjamins, 2008). In this volume a team of three dozen international experts presents a fresh picture of literary prose fiction in the Romantic age seen from crosscultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The work treats the appearance of major themes in characteristically Romantic versions, the power of Romantic discourse to reshape imaginative writing, and a series of crucial reactions to the impact of Romanticism on cultural life down to the present, both in Europe and in the New World. Through its combination of chapters on thematic, generic, and discursive features, Romantic Prose Fiction achieves a unique theoretical stance, by considering the opinions of primary Romantics and their successors not as guiding“truths” by which to define the permanent “meaning” of Romanticism, but as data of cultural history that shed important light on an evolving civilization.|
|FELICIA GORDON (Anglia Ruskin) and GINA LURIA WALKER (New School) have recently edited Rational Passions: Women and Scholarship in Britain, 1702-1870 (Broadview, 2008). This anthology of primarily non-fiction works by British women (1702 to 1870) introduces readers to a range of lesser-known texts and examines their authors’ scholarly ambitions and often groundbreaking achievements. Despite their lack of civil and political rights and in the absence of formal academic training, each of the writers profiled in this unique collection was anxious to establish herself as a serious contributor to what were regarded as male intellectual traditions. Students of women’s history will be re-acquainted with Harriet Martineau and Mary Hays’ political writings while being introduced for the first time to Priscilla Wakefield, Jane Marcet, Ada Byron and Mary Somerville’s contributions to Science and Mathematics. Among others, Mary Shelley and Anna Jameson will intrigue readers with their innovative offerings to the expanding print culture. A historical introduction and chronology provide the context for the primary sources which are arranged thematically. Biographical profiles and short commentaries are provided for each author.|
|EVAN GOTTLIEB (Oregon State) has recently published Feeling British: Sympathy and National Identity in Scottish and English Writing 1707-1832 (Bucknell, 2007). This book argues that the discourse of sympathy both encourages and problematizes a sense of shared national identity in eighteenth-century and Romantic British literature and culture. Although the 1707 Act of Union officially joined England and Scotland, government policy alone could not overcome centuries of feuding and ill will between these nations. Accordingly, the literary public sphere became a vital arena for the development and promotion of a new national identity: Britishness. The book starts by examining the political implications of the Scottish Enlightenment’s theorization of sympathy, the mechanism by which emotions are shared between people. From these philosophical beginnings, this study tracks how sympathetic discourse is deployed by a variety of authors - including Defoe, Smollett, Johnson, Wordsworth, and Scott - invested in constructing, but also in questioning, an inclusive sense of what it means to be British.|
SARAH GUYER (Madison) has recently published Romanticism After Auschwitz (Stanford 2007). Romanticism After Auschwitz reveals how post-Holocaust testimony remains romantic, and shows why romanticism must therefore be rethought. The book argues that what literary historians have traditionally called “romanticism,” and characterized as a literary movement stretching roughly between 1785 and 1832, should be redescribed in light of two circumstances. The first is the specific inadequacy of literary-historical models before “romantic” works. The second is the particular function that these unsettling aspects of “romantic” works have after Auschwitz. The book demonstrates that certain figures (of speech, writing, and argument) central to normative accounts of “romanticism,” serve in their most radical—most genuinely “romantic”—form as vehicles for posing a conception of life (and death) revealed in the camps. In these pages, Agamben meets Wordsworth, Shakespeare meets Celan, film meets lyric poetry, survivors’ accounts meet fiction, de Man encounters Nancy. The book offers new readings of highly canonical works—Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog—and introduces unfamiliar texts. It elaborates a fascinating account of the rhetoric of ethical dispositions and gives its readers an attentive, moving way of understanding the condition of human survival after the Holocaust.
|NICHOLAS HALMI (Washington) has
recently published The Genealogy of
the Romantic Symbol (Oxford, 2007). Despite its widely acknowledged
importance in and beyond the thought of the Romantic period, this book
argues that the distinctive concept of the symbol articulated by such writers
as Goethe and F. W. J. Schelling in Germany and S. T. Coleridge in England has defied adequate historical explanation. In contrast to previous scholarship, Halmi’s study provides such an explanation by relating the content of Romantic symbolist theory - often criticized as irrationalist - to the cultural needs of its time. Because its genealogical method eschews a single disciplinary perspective, this study is able to examine the Romantic concept of the symbol in a broader intellectual context than previous scholarship, a context ranging chronologically from classical antiquity to the present and encompassing literary criticism and theory, aesthetics, semiotics, theology, metaphysics, natural philosophy, astronomy, poetry, and the origins of landscape painting. The concept is thus revealed to be a specifically modern response to modern discontents, neither reverting to pre-modern modes of thought nor secularizing Christian theology, but countering Enlightenment dualisms with means bequeathed by the Enlightenment itself. This book seeks, in short, to do for the Romantic symbol what Percy Bysshe Shelley called on poets to do for the world: to lift from it its veil of familiarity.
|ROSS HAMILTON (Barnard College) has recently published Accident: A Philosophical and Literary History (Chicago, 2008). An accidental glance at a newspaper notice causes Rousseau to collapse under the force of a vision. A car accidentally hits Giacometti, and he experiences an epiphany. Darwin introduces accident to the basic process of life, and Freud looks to accident as the expression of unconscious desire. Accident tells an original history of Western thought from the perspective of Aristotle’s remarkably durable categories of accident and substance. Throughout antiquity and the middle ages, Aristotle’s distinction underwrote an insistence on order and subordination of the inessential. In a groundbreaking innovation, Hamilton argues that after the Reformation, the concept of accident began to change places with that of substance: accident became a life-transforming event and effectively a person’s essence. For moderns, it is the accidental, seemingly trivial moments of consciousness that, like Wordsworth’s “spots of time,” create constellations of meaning in our lives. Accident is the force that makes us modern. Tracing the story of accident from Aristotle to Buster Keaton and beyond, and touching on a broad array of images and texts—Augustine, Dante, the frescoes of Raphael, Descartes, Jane Austen, the work of the surrealists, and twentieth-century cinema—Accident revives the tradition of the grand history of ideas, and provides a new way to map the mutations of personal identity and subjectivity.|
|JILLIAN HEYDT-STEVENSON (Colorado) and CHARLOTTE SUSSMAN (Colorado) have co-edited Recognizing the Romantic Novel: New Histories of British Fiction, 1774-1824 (LIverpool, 2008). Something happened to the literary field at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, and that thing was not Romanticism, or at least not Romanticism as it has traditionally been understood. The event was the quantifiable dominance of the novel as the most important literary genre of the day. Much more concerned with the unexpected, the unconventional, and the uncanny than their immediate predecessors or successors, the novels of the Romantic era have often puzzled critics, who fear that they achieve neither the compelling realism of the eighteenth-century novel, nor the psychological complexity of the Victorian novel. Yet this period produced some of the most important novelists of British literary history, including Jane Austen and Walter Scott. The essays collected in Recognizing the Romantic Novel emerge out of the current re-evaluation of the vibrancy and centrality of the Romantic era novel, and showcase the diversity of important new voices and directions in the field. Featuring essays from such distinguished scholars as Mary L. Jacobus, Ian Duncan, Ina Ferris and Saree Makdisi this timely volume will be required reading for scholars of the Romantic era.|
|SYLVIA HUNT (Laurentian) has edited Jane Austen’s Men with students at
Laurentian University (Juvenilia, 2007). This volume contains the only four stories ever written by Austen that follow men into their private lives. As an adult, Austen would never venture into the bedrooms, clubs, and offices of her male characters, instead concentrating on the female world she knew and observed with such attention. These early tales, however, expose her male creations to be manipulative, acquisitive, ridiculous creatures who are as prone to Romantic excess as contemporary women. Both Mr. Harley and Sir William view women as commodities that are acquired then discarded at will. Meanwhile, Mr. Clifford is desexualized in his fragility and apparent eating disorder, qualities associated with the ideal Romantic female. Finally, male parenting is ridiculed in “The Generous Curate” as a series of males make impractical decisions regarding their offspring.
|GREG KUCICH (Notre Dame) and KEITH HANLEY (Lancaster) have edited Nineteenth-Century Worlds: Global Formations Past and Present (Routledge, 2008). This volume assembles a wide range of studies that together provide—through their interdisciplinary range, international scope, and historical emphases—an original scholarly exploration of one of the most important topics in recent nineteenth-century studies: the emergence in the nineteenth century of forms of global experience that have developed more recently into rapidly expanding processes of globalization and their attendant collisions of race, religion, ethnicity, population groups, natural environments, national will and power. Emphasizing such links between global networks past and present, the essays in this volume engage with the latest work in postcolonial, cosmopolitan, and globalization theory while speaking directly to the most pressing concerns of contemporary geopolitics. Each essay examines specific cultural and historical circumstances in the formation of nineteenth-century worlds from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including economics, political history, natural history, philosophy, the history of medicine and disease, religious studies, literary criticism, art history, and colonial studies. Detailed in their particular modes of analysis yet integrated into a collective conversation about the nineteenth century’s profound impact on our present worlds, these inquiries also explore the economic, political, and cultural determinants on nineteenth-century types of transnational experience as interweaving forces creating new material frameworks and conceptual models for comprehending major human categories—such as race, gender, subjectivity, and national identity—in global terms.|
|JACQUELINE LABBE (Warwick) has recently edited Charlotte
Smith in British Romanticism (Pickering and Chatto, 2008).
Famously commemorated by William Wordsworth as a poet‘to whom English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to be either acknowledged or remembered’,
Charlotte Smith is an originating voice of ‘the Romantic’
whose centrality is at last being recognized, 170 years after
Wordsworth’s double-edged encomium. Her early sonnets
established the genre as a Romantic form; her novels advanced sensibility as a trope beyond its two-dimensional reliance on emotional facility; and her blank verse initiated one of the most familiar of Romantic verse forms. As an
innovator, she reflects the Romantic concern with energizing the familiar, while her interests in science and philosophy, apparent in her paratexts, reveal her ambitions to understand her place in the quotidian. This volume seeks to draw together the best of current Smith scholarship. Essays by leading Smith scholars are organised according to genre, and contextualised by a substantial introduction.
|JOHN LAURITSEN (Independent) has recently published The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein (Pagan Press 2007), which has “already ruffled some feathers in the academic aviary” (Ian Young). This book has three main theses: 1) Frankenstein is a great work, which has consistently been underrated and misinterpreted; 2) the real author of Frankenstein is Percy Bysshe Shelley; and 3) romantic male friendship is a central theme of Frankenstein. Reviewing TMWWF in Salon.com, Camille Paglia wrote: “This book, which is a hybrid of mystery story, polemic and paean to poetic beauty, shows just how boring literary criticism has become over the past 40 years. I haven't been this exhilarated by a book about literature since I devoured Leslie Fiedler's iconoclastic essays in college back in the 1960s.” Other reviewers have described TMWWF as “a suspenseful page turner” (Andrew Calimach), “intriguing and very readable” (Hubert Kennedy), “a wonderfully iconoclastic book, refreshingly written in non-academic language” (James Dubro), “true independent scholarship at its very best” (Amos Lassen), “clear, concise and witty” (William A. Percy) and “funny, accurate, and deadly” (Geoff Puterbaugh). Read reviews at: http://paganpressbooks.com/BOOKLIST.HTM.|
|SUSAN LEVIN (Stevens Institute of Technology) has recently published Dorothy Wordsworth, A Longman Cultural Edition (Longman, 2008). Often treated merely as an appendage to her famous brother William, Dorothy Wordsworth emerges across Susan Levin’s pages as a vital imagination, keenly tuned to her world, and pulsing with her own brilliance: journalist, poet, traveller, social activist, and crucial presence in the Wordsworth household. The world of Grasmere and its writing community are conveyed by selections from De Quincey on incest, Hannah Glasse on making mutton, a spy from the Home Office on “a sett of violent democrats,” and a country farmer on “the pernicious and destructive consequences of enclosing common fields” —all in all more than 400 pages of seething Romanticism.|
DEVONEY LOOSER (Missouri) has recently published Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750-1850 (Johns Hopkins 2008). This groundbreaking study explores the later lives and late-life writings of more than two dozen British women authors active during the long eighteenth century. Drawing on biographical materials, literary texts, and reception histories, Devoney Looser finds that far from fading into moribund old age, female literary greats such as Anna Letitia Barbauld, Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Catharine Macaulay, Hester Lynch Piozzi, and Jane Porter toiled for decades after they achieved acclaim—despite seemingly concerted attempts by literary gatekeepers to marginalize their later contributions. Though these remarkable women wrote and published well into old age, Looser sees in their late careers the necessity of choosing among several different paths. These included receding into the background as authors of “classics,” adapting to grandmotherly standards of behavior, attempting to reshape masculinized conceptions of aged wisdom, or trying to create entirely new categories for older women writers. In assessing how these writers affected and were affected by the culture in which they lived, and in examining their varied reactions to the prospect of aging, Looser constructs careful portraits of each of her subjects and explains why many turned toward retrospection in their later works. In illuminating the powerful and often poorly recognized legacy of the British women writers who spurred a marketplace revolution in their earlier years only to find unanticipated barriers to acceptance in later life, Looser opens up new scholarly territory in the burgeoning field of feminist age studies.
|CHARLES MAHONEY (Connecticut) and MICHAEL O'NEIL (Durham) have recently edited Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008). "Romantic Poetry is the ideal anthology for students and specialists alike, defining a new canon of ten Romantic poets and reflecting the full diversity of Romantic poetic forms. All readers will welcome the freshly-edited texts, the authoritative headnotes and annotations, and the thought-provoking introduction. Edited by two leading scholars of Romanticism, the new Blackwell anthology of Romantic poetry will be the first choice for the classroom, library, and private study." Nicholas Roe, University of St Andrews|
|LEANNE MAUNU (Palomar) has published Women Writing the Nation: National Identity, Female Community, and the British-French Connection, 1770-1820 (Bucknell, 2007). This book engages in recent discussions of the development of British nationalism during the eighteenth century and Romantic period. Leanne Maunu argues that women writers looked not to their national identity, but rather to their gender identity to make claims about the role of women within the British nation. Women writers wanted to make it seem as if they were writing as members of a fairly stable community, even if such a community was composed of many different women with many different beliefs. They appropriated the model of collectivity posed by the nation, mimicking a national imagined community. In essence, because British- French relations dominated the national imagination, women had to think about their own gender concerns in national terms as well.|
|WILLIAM MCCARTHY (Iowa State) has recently published Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment (Johns Hopkins 2008). Against the background of the American and French Revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, and the struggle for religious equality in Great Britain, a brilliant, embattled woman strove to defend Enlightenment values to her nation. Poet, teacher, essayist, political writer, editor, and critic, Anna Letitia Barbauld was venerated by contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, among them the young Walter Scott, the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Boston Unitarians such as William Ellery Channing. After decades in the historical limbo into which almost all work by women writers of her era was swept, Barbauld’s writings on citizenly ethics, identity politics, church-state relations, and empire are still relevant today. Inquiring and witty as well as principled and passionate, Barbauld was a voice for the Enlightenment in an age of revolution and reaction. Based on more than fifteen years' research in dozens of libraries and archives in five countries, this is the first full-length biography of one of the foremost women writers in Georgian England.|
PETER MELVILLE (Winnipeg) has recently published Romantic Hospitality and the Resistance to Accommodation (Wilfrid Laurier, 2007). Drawing on recent theories of accommodation and estrangement, Peter Melville argues that the texts of Romantic hospitality (including those of Rousseau, Kant, Coleridge, and Mary Shelley) are often troubled by the subject’s failure to welcome the Other without also exposing the stranger to some form of hostility or violence. Far from convincing Romantic writers to abandon the figure of hospitality, this failure invites them instead to articulate and theorize a paradoxical imperative governing the subject’s encounters with strangers: if the obligation to welcome the Other is ultimately impossible to fulfill, then it is also impossible to ignore. This paradox is precisely what makes Romantic hospitality an act of responsibility.
|ROBERT MITCHELL (Duke) has recently published Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era: Systems, State Finance, and the Shadows of Futurity (Routledge, 2007). This book explores a fascinating connection between two seemingly unrelated Romantic-era discourses, outlining the extent to which eighteenth and early nineteenth century theories of sympathy were generated by crises of state finance. Through readings of authors such as David Hume, Adam Smith, William Wordsworth, and P.B. Shelley, Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era establishes the ways in which crises of state finance encouraged the development of theories of sympathy capable of accounting for both the fact of "social systems" as well as the modes of emotional communication by means of which such systems bound citizens to one another.|
|TOM MOLE (McGill) has recently published Byron’s Romantic Celebrity: Industrial Culture and the Hermeneutic of Intimacy (Palgrave, 2007). This book provides one case study in a history that has yet to be written, of a phenomenon that has yet to be adequately theorised. It argues that modern celebrity culture began in the Romantic period, and that Lord Byron should be understood as one of its earliest examples and most astute critics. Tom Mole approaches celebrity as a cultural apparatus - consisting of the relations between an individual, an industry and an audience - that took shape in response to the industrialised print culture of the Romantic period. Under that rubric he investigates the often strained interactions of artistic endeavour and commercial enterprise, the material conditions of Byron's publications, and the place of celebrity culture in the history of the self. Byron’s Romantic Celebrity sheds new light on the Romantic poetics of personality by showing how commercial collaboration and creative compromise made a public profile possible.|
|The Cambridge Companion to British
Theatre, 1730-1830, edited by JANE
MOODY (York) and DANIEL O’QUINN (Guelph), offers a wide-ranging and
innovative guide to one of the most exciting and important periods in British theatrical history (Cambridge, 2007). The scope of the volume extends from the age of Garrick to the Romantic transformation of acting inaugurated by Edmund Kean and includes chapters about actors and acting, production and audiences, discussions of key theatrical forms such as tragedy, comedy, melodrama and pantomime, as well as a range of thematic essays on subjects such as private theatricals, ‘black’ theatre and the representation of empire.
|TIMOTHY MORTON (UC-Davis) has recently published Ecology Without Nature (Harvard, 2007). In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all. Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."|
|CHRISTOPHER NAGLE (Western Michigan) has recently published Sexuality and the Culture of Sensibility in the British Romantic Era (Palgrave, 2007). Drawing together theoretically informed literary history and the cultural history of sexuality, friendship, and affective relations, this is the first study to trace fully the influence of this notorious yet often undervalued cultural tradition on British Romanticism, a movement that both draws on and resists Sensibility's excessive embodiments of non-normative pleasure. Offering a broad consideration of literary genres while balancing the contributions of both canonical and non-canonical male and female writers, this bold new study insists on the need to revise the traditional boundaries of literary periods and establishes unexpected influences on both Romantic and early Victorian culture and their shared pleasures of attachment.|
|Oxford has recently published a paperback edition of MORTON D. PALEY’s (Berkley, 2007) The Traveller in the Evening: The Last Works of William Blake. This is a study of Blake's poetry, art, and thought during the last years of his life, from 1818 to 1827. Morton Paley considers some of Blake's major accomplishments, including Blake's wood engravings for Thornton's Virgil, the separate plate known as The Laocoon, 101 illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy, and the great series of Illustrations to the Book of Job. Paley shows us a Blake who has flowered during his late years; a Blake who is free of any "systems," including his own.|
|ADAM POTKAY (William and Mary) has
recently published The Story of Joy:
From the Bible to Late Romanticism (Cambridge, 2007). Joy is an experience
of reunion or fulfilment, of desire at least temporarily laid to rest, of a good
thing that comes to pass or seems sure to happen soon. In this wide-ranging
and highly original book Potkay explores the concept of joy, distinguishing it from related concepts such as happiness and ecstasy. He goes on to trace the literary and intellectual history of joy in the Western tradition, from Aristotle, the Bible and Provencal troubadours through contemporary culture, centring on British and German works from the Reformation through Romanticism. Describing the complex interconnections between literary art, ethics, and religion, Potkay offers fresh readings of Spenser, Shakespeare, Fielding, Schiller, English Romantic poets, Wilde and Yeats. The Story of Joy will be of special interest to scholars of the Renaissance to the late Romantic period, but will also appeal to readers interested in the changing perceptions of joy over time.
|ALAN RAWES (Manchester) has
recently edited a volume of essays
entitled, Romanticism and Form
(Palgrave, 2008). The study of form
has enjoyed a considerable revival
in Romantic Studies since the later
1990s, after being marginalised for
the two previous decades by
deconstruction and new
historicism. Romanticism and Form
brings together leading scholars of
Romanticism and relative newcomers to offer a snapshot of what and where the revival of formalism in Romantic Studies is up to. The essays, all published here for the first time, offer new analyses of canonical texts by Wordsworth, Austen, Byron and P.B. Shelley, explorations of under-explored areas of Romanticperiod culture, contextualizations of Romantic forms and formal practices in relation to war, nationalism, propaganda, empire and urbanisation, reassessments and rehabilitations of neglected and marginalised writers (including Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Felicia Hemans, John Clare, Ann Cristall, Charlotte Smith and Robert Southey), and new explorations of the relationship between form and reader. The volume showcases a range of new approaches to form that are distanced from New Criticism but informed by deconstruction, new historicism, feminism, theology and new technologies.
|BEN P. ROBERTSON (Troy) has edited The Diaries of Elizabeth Inchbald (Pickering & Chatto, 2007). The three-volume set makes available the transcribed contents of the eleven surviving pocketbook diaries of the British author, actor, and literary critic Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821). Now held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, these rare documents record Inchbald’s social contacts, financial transactions, acting experience, and literary efforts. The diaries trace Inchbald’s interactions with other theatre figures, like Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble, and provide insight into Inchbald's composition process.|
|SHARON RUSTON (Keele) has recently
published Romanticism (Continuum,
2007), a guide providing a clear and concise overview of literature and its
context from 1780-1820. This accessible introduction to Romanticism includes an overview of the historical, cultural and intellectual background, including the Romantic movement in terms of culture, political upheaval, philosophy, religion and scientific development. Ruston’s introduction surveys the developments in key genres including discussion of major writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wollstonecraft, Hemans and Smith. It includes a glossary of key terms, a guide to critical approaches, a chronology and guided further reading.
|MATTHEW SCHNEIDER (High Point) has recently published The Long and Winding Road From Blake to the Beatles (Palgrave 2008). What is the secret of the Beatles’ astonishing success? How did they arouse unprecedented worldwide hysteria in 1964, and how do they continue to appeal to each new generation that comes along? In their music, their personalities, and the group dynamic they enacted in their songs, performances, and the trajectory of their career, the Beatles embodied and projected the unique character of the Anglo-American culture that produced them. They stood at the end point—and therefore served as a concentrated embodiment of—nearly two centuries of literary evolution and cultural exchange between Britain and the United States, stretching from the end of the Revolutionary War to the early 1960s. In the Beatles the cultural streams of Britain and America—which had pursued parallel courses since the late 1780s—re-converged. By unconsciously patterning their lives on some of the major Anglo-American Romantic writers, and by exploring in their songs many of the great Romantic themes—the conflict between individual ambition and collective solidarity, the role played by childhood memory in forming an adult consciousness, the challenge of discovering purpose in an apparently meaningless universe, and the difficulty of finding personal fulfillment while striving for professional accomplishment—the Beatles transformed pop music into a poetic medium. Through their music and fame the Beatles introduced the contemporary world’s dominant mode of selfhood: Rock Romanticism, which asserts the significance and uniqueness of ordinary individuals.|
LISA STEINMAN (Reed College) has recently published Invitation to Poetry: The Pleasures of Studying Poetry and Poetics (Blackwell, 2007).
|SOPHIE THOMAS (Sussex) has recently published Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History, Spectacle (Routledge, 2007). This study addresses the intersection of literature and visual culture in the Romantic period, paying particular attention to the theoretical and figurative aspects of seeing. It explores literary engagements with the expanding visual field, arguing that the popular culture of Regency Britain reflected not just emergent and highly capitalized forms of mass entertainment, but also a lively interest in the aesthetic and conceptual dimensions of looking. Moreover, what is commonly thought to be the Romantic resistance to the visible reveals a generative fascination with the visual and its conceptual possibilities. This study examines a broad selection of instances that reflect debates over how seeing should “show itself”: instances-from Daguerre’s Diorama, to the staging of Coleridge’s play “Remorse,” to the figure of the Medusa in Shelley’s poetry and at the Phantasmagoria-in which the act of seeing is itself represented or dramatized. In response to the related challenge of the invisible, this study includes ruins and fragments, showing that they relate closely to the visual in articulating questions about history and temporality, and in bringing Romantic preoccupations with the past into clearer focus.|
|HERBERT F. TUCKER (Virginia) has recently published Epic: Britain's Heroic Muse 1790-1910. This book is the first to provide a connected history of epic poetry in Britain between the French Revolution and the First World War. Although epic is widely held to have been shouldered aside by the novel, if not invalidated in advance by modernity, in fact the genre was practiced without interruption across the long nineteenth century by nearly every prominent Romantic and Victorian poet, and shoals of ambitious poetasters into the bargain. Poets kept the epic alive by revising its conventions to meet an overlapping series of changing realities: insurgent democracy, Napoleonic war, the rise of class consciousness and repeated reform of the franchise, challenges posed by scientific advance to religious belief and cherished notions of the human, the evolution of a postnationalist and eventually imperialist identity for Britain as the world's superpower. Each of these developments called on nineteenth-century epic to do what the genre had always done: affirm the unity of its sponsoring culture through a large utterance that both acknowledged the distinctive flowering of the modern and affirmed its rootedness in tradition. The best writers answered this call by figuring Britain's self-renewal and the genre's as versions of one another. In passing Herbert Tucker notices scores of mediocre congeners (and worse), so as to show where the challenge of a given decade fell and suggest what lay at stake. The background these lesser works provide throws into relief what the book stresses in extended discussions of several dozen major works: an unbroken history of daring experimentation in which circumspect, inventive, worried epoists engaged because the genre and the age alike demanded it.|
|ROSS WILSON (Cambridge) has recently published Subjective Universality in Kant’s Aesthetics (Peter Lang, 2007). Drawing on a wide range of scholarship, this book offers a new and comprehensive examination of Kant’s argument that aesthetic judgements are combined with a claim to subjective universality. The author gives a detailed account of the background to this claim in Kant’s epistemology, logic, and metaphysics, before closely attending to the crucial sections of the Critique of the Power of Judgement. In particular, it is shown that Kant's aesthetics requires that his theory of the subject be rethought. Central to the theory of the subject that begins to emerge from the Third Critique is Kant’s enigmatic notion of ‘life’ which is extensively explored here. This study, therefore, thoroughly examines the central features of Kant's account of aesthetic judgements, suggesting that a new and exciting theory of subjectivity begins to be outlined in Kant’s aesthetics. The author argues for the placement of Kant’s account of the subjective universality of aesthetic judgement at the centre of contemporary philosophical aesthetics.|
|SUSAN WOLFSON (Princeton)
announces the second edition of her
Longman Cultural Edition of Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein. New items, to
complement the much appreciated
materials in the first edition, and
assembled with advise from NASSR
members, include a much fuller
selection of 1831 revisions. Like all great works of fiction, Frankenstein
gains depth and dimension from its
“conversation” with contemporary texts, especially by Shelley’s parents, husband, and friends. In addition to the 1818 text, this cultural edition features the introduction to and a sample revision of the 1831 version. A lively introduction to the edition is complemented by a chronology coordinating Shelley’s life with key historical events and a speculative calendar of the novel's events in the late eighteenth century.
|SUSAN J. WOLFSON (Princeton)
and MARSHALL BROWN(Washington) are pleased to
announce their new edited work, Reading for Form (Washington,
2007). Reflecting varieties of theory and practice in both verse and prose from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, these essays by many of Americ’'s leading literary scholars call for a reinvigorated formalism that can enrich literary studies, open productive routes of commerce with cultural studies, and propel cultural theory out of its thematic ruts. This book reprints Modern Language Quarterly's highly acclaimed special issue Reading for Form, along with new essays by Marjorie Perloff, D. Vance Smith, and Susan Stewart, and a revised introduction by Susan Wolfson. With historical case studies and insightful explorations, Reading for Form offers invaluable material for literary critics in all specializations.
|SUSAN J. WOLFSON (Princeton) and BARRY V. QUALLS (Rutgers) are pleased to announce their new trio edition of double-tales: Mary Shelley’s Transformation, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer (Longman, 2008). Interspersed are selections about doubles from Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, Nordau’s Degeneration, a selection of critics on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson’s A Chapter on Dreams, and a selection from the double worlds of A Child’s Garden of Verses. Handsomely produced and affordably priced, the Longman Cultural Editions series presents classic works in provocative and illuminating contexts-cultural, critical, and literary. Each Cultural Edition consists of the complete texts of these important literary works, reliably edited, headed inviting introductions, and supplemented by helpful annotations; a table of dates to track composition, publication, and public reception in relation to biographical, cultural and historical events; and a guide for further inquiry and study.|
|JULIA M. WRIGHT (Dalhousie) has
published Irish Literature, 1750-1900: An Anthology (Blackwell,
2008). Over the past twenty
years, interest in Irish literature
has risen dramatically across the
globe. Irish Literature, 1750-1900
presents in one volume the rich body of Irish writing between the Enlightenment and Modernism. The anthology includes nearly forty authors and, with very few exceptions, full-text editions of plays, poems, and short fiction. Non-fiction prose also appears in either substantial excerpts or full texts. The anthology also includes substantial selections from Ireland's women writers, as well as Ulster poets and writers who emigrated to North America during this period. Among the Romantic-era authors represented in the anthology are J. J. Callanan, William Drennan, Maria Edgeworth, Thomas Moore, Lady Morgan, James Orr, and Mary Tighe.
|JENNIFER N. WUNDER (Georgia
Gwinnett) has recently published Keats, Hermeticism, and the
Secret Societies (Ashgate, 2008).
Wunder makes a strong case for
the importance of hermeticism
and the secret societies to an
understanding of John Keats’s poetry and his speculations about religious and philosophical questions. Although secret societies exercised enormous cultural influence during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they have received little attention from Romantic scholars. And yet, information about the societies permeated all aspects of Romantic culture. Groups such as the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons fascinated the reading public, and the market was flooded with articles, pamphlets, and books that discussed the societies's goals and hermetic philosophies, debated their influence, and drew on their mythologies for literary inspiration. Wunder recovers the common knowledge about the societies and offers readers a first look at the role they played in the writings of Romantic authors in general and Keats in particular. She argues that Keats was aware of the information available about the secret societies and employed hermetic terminology and imagery associated with these groups throughout his career. As she traces the influence of these secret societies on Keats’s poetry and letters, she not only offers readers a new perspective on Keats’s writings but also on scholarship treating his religious and philosophical beliefs. While scholars have tended either to consider Keats’s aesthetic and religious speculations on their own terms or to adopt a more historical approach that rejects an emphasis on the spiritual for a materialist interpretation, Wunder offers us a middle way. Restoring Keats to a milieu characterized by simultaneously worldly and mythological propensities, she helps to explain if not fully reconcile the insights of both camps.
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