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Greater London

What Was Mr. Bennet Doing in his Library, and What Does It Matter?

In this article, Jackson uses the familiar example of the Bennet household in Pride and Prejudice to outline some of the practices associated with the establishment and maintenance of a library about 1800. Besides gathering clues from the novel itself and providing information about the resources likely to have been available in or near a market town like Meryton, this essay speculates that Mr. Bennet might have been writing in his books and surveys some of the ways of writing that would have been available to him.
February 2004

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Garval, "Alexis Soyer and the Rise of the Celebrity Chef"

While largely forgotten today, French-born British culinarian Alexis Soyer (1809-1858), transformed our vision of the chef as a public figure. Like other early celebrity chefs, he first styled himself as a great man of letters, but his dandyism, theatrics, tireless self-fashioning and promotion, and, above all, his widely-read and flatteringly-illustrated books, propelled him toward a new kind of renown. In particular, his humanitarian efforts in the Crimean War, and account thereof in his Culinary Campaign (1857), established that chefs need not pretend to be great writers, to be seen as noteworthy personages – a shift underpinning their later emergence as broadcast stars. This essay appears in _Romantic Gastronomies_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Selected Bibliography of Henry Stephens Salt

Romanticism & Ecology

Selected Bibliography of Henry Stephens Salt

William Stroup, Keene State College

My explicit concern in this essay is on Salt as a Shelleyan; yet as I hope my argument makes clear, this title invites and perhaps even demands a wide range of interests and expertise. This selected bibliography is in chronological order, indicating the recurring themes and varied developments of Salt's career.

November 2001

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"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" as an Ambient Poem; a Study of a Dialectical Image; with Some Remarks on Coleridge and Wordsworth

This essay is a testing ground for "ambience," exploring the role of space in poetics, ideology and theory, building on the conclusion to the book The Poetics of Spice. Though ecocriticism and ecological philosophy talk about environmental awareness and "interconnectedness," we may not be certain of what we mean by such terms. They should, for example, remind all literary scholars of the idea, and the ideology, of the aesthetic. By closely reading the famous poem "The Star" by Jane Taylor, this essay delineates some of the poetic forms involved in the inscription of environmental awareness, such as minimalism, and the foregrounding of what in structuralism is called the "contact" or medium of communication. The essay investigates the possibility of a "feminine" form of Romantic ecology in contradistinction to more masculinist versions. It uses Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida to counter the representation of ecological awareness in Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. The essay discusses the work on culture and civilization by Geoffrey Hartman and Terry Eagleton to adumbrate the ways in which public space is evoked in environmental poetics. Walter Benjamin's notion of the "dialectical image" is employed to indicate the Janus-faced nature of the poetic and ideological fantasy of "ambience" (or "aura" in Benjamin). In considering William Wordsworth's sonnet "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the essay investigates the virtues and vices of ambience, as opposed to a more Burkean, "maximalist" view of the natural world. The essay continues the line of thought explored in David Simpson's Wordsworth and the Figurings of the Real, especially the final section, "Societies of Figures."
November 2001

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