We note with sadness the death on Sunday, November 8 of the distinguished scholar of the romantic period, former Mellon Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, Karl Kroeber. A notice and a separate appreciation appeared yesterday in the Columbia Spectator. Here at Romantic Circles, you can read in its entirety a 2007 special issue of The Wordsworth Circle, "In Honor of Karl Kroeber."
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On 13 September 2009, the Keats-Shelley Association of America hosted a special advance screening of Jane Campion's new film Bright Star (previously discussed here), about the love between John Keats and Fanny Brawne, at the New York Public Library. Following the screening was a special panel of reactions to the movie, featuring Stuart Curran (distinguished professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania and president of the KSAA), Christopher Ricks (William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute, Boston University), Timothy Corrigan (professor of English and Director of Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania) and Susan Wolfson (Professor of English, Princeton University).
Special thanks are due to to several people who helped to facilitate this screening/panel and its recording: Marsha Manns (Director, Keats-Shelley Association of America), Oleg Dubson (Apparition, the film's distributor), Doucet Devin Fischer (Co-editor, Shelley and his Circle) Cheryl Raymond (Manager, Programs, Special Events, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts), Mike Diekmann (Manager of Audio Visual Services New York Public Library for the Performing Arts), Sarah Zimmerman (Associate Professor of English, Fordham University), John Bugg (Assistant Professor of English, Fordham University), Zachary Holbrook (Research Associate, Shelley and his Circle), and Elizabeth Denlinger (Curator, Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, New York Public Library).
Romantic Circles Audio is now pleased to make the panel discussion available here as a podcast. The lecture is downloadable by clicking on the speaker icon below, or you can subscribe (free of charge) to the panel as a podcast--and then receive future podcasts from Romantic Circles Audio--manually, by using the RSS button below, or (again free of charge) via the iTunes store using the iTunes button.
Though he does not introduce himself on the recording, Stuart Curran introduces the panel.
To manually subscribe, simply follow these steps:
1. Copy the link attached to the RSS button below (Mac users ctrl-click, Windows users right-click).
2. Paste this link into any podcast aggregator--for example, iPodder or Apple's iTunes player (under: Advanced > Subscribe to podcast).
Note: Romantic Circles also publishes the Poets on Poets Archive as a free quarterly podcast.
Romantic Circles is very pleased to announce the publication of a new electronic edition, The Letters of Robert Bloomfield and his Circle, edited by Tim Fulford and Lynda Pratt, with Associate Editor John Goodridge and Technical Editor Laura Mandell.
The Suffolk farmhand turned London shoemaker Robert Bloomfield was the most popular poet of the early nineteenth-century before Byron, admired not just for the authenticity that stemmed from his childhood experience as a rural labourer, but accepted as a master of narrative and versification—the living continuation of the Georgic and ballad traditions epitomised by James Thomson and Robert Burns. This edition of Bloomfield’s correspondence makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in what it was like to be a professional poet in the early nineteenth century. Intimate, humorous, self-analytical, Bloomfield’s letters show from the inside what it was like to work in the rapidly expanding book market. They reveal the power of the publisher, and show Bloomfield struggling, as Wordsworth and Clare also did, with gentlemen patrons who resented the independence that sales gave their protègés. Throughout, they demonstrate Bloomfield’s difficulties in straddling the labouring-class culture from which he came and the polite culture of his readers and supporters. This is partly a matter of what they discuss—work in garrets, poor relief, popular songs and political protest, for example. Bloomfield meets the radical shoemaker Thomas Hardy and converses with Hardy’s fellow-accused in the 1794 treason trials, John Horne Tooke; he also corresponds with Paine’s admirer Thomas Clio Rickman.
Invaluable resources for the social historian, like the memoirs of Francis Place and the more passing comments of William Blake, Bloomfield’s letters open up a world not recorded in print at the time, and absent from most twentieth-century histories. With Clare and Rogers among his correspondents, and with Moore and Wordsworth among his admirers, Bloomfield emerges here as a writer who was for a while central to the poetic culture of the Romantic era. Intended as a resource for scholars of Bloomfield and of labouring-class writing, this edition includes an introduction and extensive editorial apparatus and features transcriptions of Bloomfield’s unpublished poems, critical remarks and children’s writings. It incorporates over forty reproductions of illustrations to his poems (Bloomfield was one of the most heavily illustrated poets of the day). Also collected are contemporary reviews of his poems and the texts of poems by his brothers George and Nathaniel.
Launching on September 1, 2009, nbol-19.org is an Online Review of Books on English and American Literature of the . Sponsored by Dartmouth College and edited by with technical help from Thomas Luxon and editorial advice from thirty-three specialists in nineteenth-century literature, this site aims to revolutionize academic reviewing by assessing new books within ninety days of their publication, by inviting authors to respond to each review within thirty days of its submission, and by inviting comments from visitors to the site. Taking advantage of web resources, its reviews will include pictures from the books it reviews and links to relevant material on other sites. With reviewers ranging from graduate students to chaired professors and emeriti, this site has commissioned just over one hundred reviews of books published in 2009, is already posting more than twenty of them, and aims to have the rest up by next April. Meanwhile, its Books Announced list for 2009 briefly describes all the books it will review.
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The Poetry Foundation has published a review of Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and the Terror of Science, an exploration of the Romantic sensibility in science. Authored by Molly Young, the article characterizes Holmes' book as "equal parts passionate history and head-shaking elegy—a recovery of a golden era and a subsequent burial of it." Starting with Captain Cook's voyage to Tahiti in 1768 and ending with Charles Babbage's publication of Reflections on the Decline of Science in England in 1830, the book catalogues a number of Romantic explorer's and scientists--from Humphry Davy to William and Caroline Herschel. The argument throughout, according to Young, is that Romantic poetry and science have two key attributes in common: a frenzy for discovery and a lack of specialization. It should come as no surprise, then, that "the Romantic imagination was inspired, not alienated, by scientific advances."
In addition, Andrew Stauffer of The Hoarding has collected several other reviews of The Age of Wonder.
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Reviews editor Jasper Cragwall has just posted reviews of two new books on the Romantic Circles Reviews Blog. One, a review of The Cambridge Companion to William Blake (ed. Morris Eaves), was written by R. Paul Yoder. The other, authored by Matthew VanWinkle, is a review of Adam Potkay's The Story of Joy: From the Bible to Late Romanticism. Please visit the top of the RC Reviews Blog to read both new reviews.
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The trailer has come available for Jane Campion's Bright Star, a new film about the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne.
Watch the trailer here.
The film is currently scheduled for theatrical release in the US on September 18th and the UK on November 6th, but there is some talk it may be pushed back in the US for better Academy Award timing. The film had been on critics' short lists for a Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival in May, but it came up empty handed.