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Province of Naples

Camden, "Money, Matrimony, and Memory: Secondary Heroines in Radcliffe, Austen, and Cooper"

Camden traces the decline of the cult of sensibility in Gothic, sentimental, and historical romance through the figure of the forgotten heroine. The exclusion of these heroines from the resolution of the novel offers a challenge to generic and nationalistic constraints. This essay appears in _Sullen Fires Across the Atlantic: Essays in Transatlantic Romanticism_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (, University of Maryland.


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Chandler, "The 'Power of Sound' and the Great Scheme of Things: Wordsworth Listens to Wordsworth"

"What happens when the later Wordsworth of 'The Power of Sound,' replays the sounds of his earlier poetry, notably the 'Immortality Ode'? This essay argues that Wordsworth finds his earlier poetry too much given to the free affective play of sound. For the later Wordsworth, sound schemes signify larger schemes drawn from the Christian Bible."


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Talking About Virtue: Paisiello's 'Nina,' Paër's 'Agnese,' and the Sentimental Ethos

This essay will examine how sentimentality and its valorization of virtue spread through one particular intersection of opera and literature; that is, the seduced maiden narrative is enacted in these operas, once as a comedy of sorts, once as a tragedy. Giovanni Paisiello's "Nina" (1789) was clearly influenced by the works of Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne, while Fernando Paër's "Agnese" (1809) is a direct adaptation of Amelia Opie's popular novella "The Father and Daughter" (1801). Furthermore, both of the operas spin in and out of ideological orbit with Richardson's novel Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740-41), which in turn was rewritten by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni in his dramatic adaptation Le Pamela Nubile (1753), the Irish playwright Isaac Bickerstaffe as the comic opera The Maid of the Mill (1765), and which then was later adapted and transformed by François de Neufchâteau into the opera Paméla (1793). And certainly we can detect sentimental familial concerns in Denis Diderot's dramas, particularly "Le Fils Naturel ou les épreuves de la vertu" ("The Natural Son; or, The Trials of Virtue," 1757). What I hope to suggest is that music and literature have collaborated in constructing a few fairly basic cultural scripts (domestic, familial, painful, and cathartic: recall Oedipus or Demeter/Persephone) that are then retold endlessly, continually readjusting the particulars to accommodate changing social and political conditions. Sentimentality as a value system, a potent ideology, almost a secularization of religion was spread throughout eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century European culture not simply through novels and dramas, but also by being performed in opera houses from London to Rome and Naples.
May 2005


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"Ferdinando Eboli" by Mary Shelley

October, 1997



[published in the Keepsake for 1829 (1828)]

DURING this quiet time of peace, we are fast forgetting the excitements and astonishing events of the last war; and the very names of Europe's conquerors are becoming antiquated to the ears of our children. Those were more romantic days than these; for the revulsions




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