Romantic Circles Publications

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April 2014

An Island in the Moon is an incomplete manuscript written in pen and ink in Blake’s hand. It contains the earliest extant drafts of "Nurse’s Song," "Holy Thursday," and "The Little Boy Lost," which make their first published appearance in his Songs of Innocence (1789). Topical allusions and the history of Blake’s associations with the London social circle of the Rev. A. S. Mathew and his wife Harriet in the 1780s suggest a period of composition c. 1784-85. The use of dialogue interspersed with song lyrics links the narrative to both contemporary theatrical forms and broader eighteenth-century satirical traditions. Blake and his brother Robert play central roles as the philosophers “Quid” and “Suction.” Although Blake left it orphaned, untitled, and unfinished in a heavily revised manuscript, Island is in some sense a primary literary experiment for him, setting the undertone of much to follow.

January 2014

In the interview that comprises this volume, Anne Mellor recounts her determined commitment to rethinking Romanticism through the lens of gender. On the eve of retirement, Mellor continues to query our assumptions and preoccupations as Romanticists, even as she looks back on her long career. The audio clips attached to the transcription resonate with Mellor’s intellectual curiosity, as her voice continues to prompt the reader to return to the texts, the archives, and the critical concerns of Feminist Romanticism. Roxanne Eberle introduces the volume and conducts the interview.

August 2013

Part Three is the first-ever collected edition of the surviving letters written by Southey between 1804 and 1809. The letters published here begin with Southey writing to his brother with a draft of his epic poem Madoc; they end on New Year’s Eve 1809, with him discussing Coleridge’s The Friend and his own new writing in the Quarterly Review and The Curse of Kehama (published in 1810). The years 1804–1809 saw the consolidation of important relationships and correspondences, notably with the statistician John Rickman, the translator William Taylor, and the writer Mary Barker. New correspondences of lasting significance were begun: with Neville White, brother of Henry Kirke White, leading to Southey’s editing of Henry’s Remains; with Matilda Betham, who would paint Southey’s and his family’s portraits in London and Keswick; with Anna Seward, who would support his poetry in the press and to whom he would make an hilarious visit; with Walter Savage Landor, whose enthusiasm for his poetry inspired him to return to writing verse in The Curse of Kehama and Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814); with Walter Scott, whose good offices led Southey to a new career writing for the Quarterly Review and the Edinburgh Annual Register, and to the Laureateship.

Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick – a Lake Poet by residence if not by inclination and one whose interests and connections engaged him in global networks and exchanges. The years 1810-1815 were exceptionally busy ones for Southey. His output was, even by his own standards, prodigious and diverse, encompassing history, reviews, biography, polemics and chronicles of contemporary events. A productive time for Southey the prose writer, the period also saw the revitalisation of his poetic career with the publication of two long poems (The Curse of Kehama in 1810 and Roderick, the Last of the Goths in 1814), new editions of earlier works and plans for new verses aplenty.

A distinctive feature of Southey’s shorter poems from this time is a move towards and investment in the contemporary. It was a move prompted by his controversial decision, in November 1813, to accept the Poet Laureateship. The letters we publish here make it possible for the first time to chart how and why that decision was made, how the resulting disputes were ignited, and how Southey responded to them. In so doing, they show how Southey’s high hopes for the Laureateship foundered on the rocks of reality and thus provide new insights into the vexatious relationship between Romantic poets and the public sphere.

Note: With the publication of Parts 3 and 4, Technical Editor Dr. Laura Mandell has added indexes that allow finding all letters by names of addresees, names of people mentioned in them, and names of places mentioned in them. Visit the Correspondents, Biographies, and Places files to see these indexes at work. A dynamic graphing tool called "Relate" indicates relationships among members of the Southey Circle, and an article by Mandell and Pratt describing how to use that tool will be available in the next few days at Digital Studies / Le Champ Numérique, a special issue concerning data visualization.

April 2013

The six essays in this volume offer a range of mediations prompted by the volume’s title. This volume explores older and newer logics of “matching” and “counting” and “measuring” (whether statistical, geometric, or otherwise un/calculable); they register as well an upsurge in interest in formal-language, neurocognitive and medial-historical approaches. These essays invite us to think “bodies,” “multitudes,” and “subjectivity” along different axes. They ask us to think about the (romantic) one, the (romantic) proper name, quantity, and quality; they invite us to reflect on the status of poetry and measure, about the work of the novel as totalization, about models of mind, about calculuses of populations and food. Ranging through Wordsworth, Scott, Malthus, Babbage, and Galt (among others), this volume points to new directions in romanticist thinking while reconstructing the complexity of romantic-period thought. Edited and introduced by Maureen N. McLane, with essays by Matthew F. Wickman, Marjorie Levinson, James Brooke-Smith, John Savarese, Bo Earle, and Ron Broglio, along with two responses by Maureen N. McLane: Response #1, Response #2.

March 2013

This electronic edition of Mary Robinson’s Nobody (Drury Lane, 1794), based on the only surviving manuscript of the play (LA 1046) housed in the Larpent collection at the Henry E. Huntington Library, is the first to present a widely-available and searchable transcript of the play along with a comprehensive introduction, extensive notes by the editor, and contexts of the drama, including contemporary commentaries, poems, puffs, and reviews, an account of the public reaction to the play from the Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Robinson (1801), and relevant excerpts from Mary Robinson’s 'Present State of the Manners, Society, &c. &c. of the Metropolis of England' (1800) and James Boaden’s The Life of Mrs. Jordan (1831).

December 2012

This collection of articles is intended to initiate a conversation about and between biopolitics and romanticism. Its broad contention is that the study of biopolitics reanimates the question of romanticism in two senses. First, the set of conceptual resources provided in recent work on biopolitics opens up inventive lines of inquiry that enable scholars to re-think the already established awareness that the literature, philosophy, and culture of romanticism displays an obsession with life. In another sense biopolitics reanimates romanticism insofar as the current scholarly concern with life as an object of power marks the radical survival of romanticism. If romanticism responds well when examined in the light of contemporary biopolitical theory, then a constitutive part of this response is a certain resistance to biopolitical theory. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that the biopolitical intervention on life engages paradoxes, predicaments, and aporias that have been widely or fully appreciated neither by theorists of biopolitics nor by critics who take up their work. Romanticism, we suggest, is a privileged locus for the awareness that even the most assured representation of life turns upon an irreducible “literariness.” Edited and introduced by Alastair Hunt and Matthias Rudolf, with essays by Marc Redfield, Emily Sun, and Sara Guyer, along with a response by Eva Geulen.

October 2012

Originally intended to introduce a study of William Blake’s later prophecies, the late Karl Kroeber’s Blake in a Post-Secular Era: Early Prophecies is an accessible and astute survey of the prophetic work that Blake executed between 1788 and 1794. For Kroeber (1926-2009), former Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, the post-secular era we are now entering should be prepared to recognize Blake’s centrality in academic literary humanism, which—in its secular phase—excluded Blake on account of his radical Christianity. Such exclusion, Kroeber points out, has not diminished Blake’s immense—and still growing—impact on popular culture, on our music, fiction, film, and graphic novels, as well as on our ideas of creativity, spirituality, and individuality. In stark contrast to the idea of a “universal heart” and to the ideal rational societies envisioned by other Romantic writers, Blake argued that each individual was unique and that only complex social structures based, not on reason, but on the imagination, like Golgonooza, the City of Art, can realize and sustain the individual’s innate divinity.
Published here for the first time, The Gipsy Prince (Haymarket, 24 July 1801), was the collaboration of Thomas Moore who composed the libretto and lyrics and Michael Kelly who provided the musical score. Though it had the second longest run of Haymarket's summer season, the censoring authorities had not recognized the ploy of introducing the Irish under English rule as Gipsies during the Spanish Inquisition. Although the play could not be revived the following season, publisher John Roach supported Moore by publishing the hoaxing "source," a prose narrative from which Moore pretended to have derived his play. With an introduction by Frederick Burwick, this edition includes his transcription of the previously unpublished manuscript, the prose narrative ostensibly translated from the Spanish, the sheet music as published by Michael Kelly, recordings of the overture and songs as performed under the musical direction of Stephen Pu, and a variorum of the lyrics to facilitate side-by-side comparisons of all versions of the songs. The edition also provides page-by-page images of the original materials.
This article serves as an online supplement to Laon and Cythna as edited by Michael J. Neth in Volume III of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. It contains a record of every known draft variant of the poem, from surviving first draft through intermediate stages to surviving press copy, with the exception of stray letters and marks. The italicized editorial apparatus gives a description of the context of each line and will help textually-inclined readers with access to the published facsimile transcriptions listed locate any passage they wish to examine in greater depth.

August 2012

This resource documents the first full production of a John Thelwall play. It contains an introductory essay by Judith Thompson and a full performance video of the 2009 Dalhousie/Zuppa Theatre production of Thelwall’s 1801 “dramatic romance,” as well as a series of series of short video documentaries by student filmmaker Brooke Fifield, exploring the creative challenges, practical considerations and unexpected delights involved in bringing a long-neglected piece of radical Romantic theatre from dusty page to modern stage.
In the absence of a full biography, this resource fulfills an urgent need to gather, collate, and circulate existing biographical and bibliographical information on the notoriously under-documented career of Romantic polymath John Thelwall in an accessible location and format. This chronology and bibliography charts what is thus far known about Thelwall’s residences and travels, his chief activities, his writings and lectures, and his correspondence, along with related events, and locations where primary texts can be found.

July 2012

An edition of Robert Bloomfield's multimedia picturesque tour of the Wye valley. Poem, tour journal, sketchbook. This edition presents a rare surviving example of the kind of multimedia production that arose from one of the new cultural activities of the late eighteenth century—the picturesque and antiquarian tour. It comprises a facsimile of the manuscript sketch- and scrap-book that Robert Bloomfield made after his 1807 tour of the Wye, an annotated transcription of the prose tour-journal that he incorporated into his scrap book, and a collated and annotated text of the poetic versions of the tour that were published (as The Banks of Wye) in 1811, 1813, and 1823. Also included are reproductions of the engravings that illustrated the 1811 and 1813 publications, deleted or unadopted passages from the manuscript of the poem, and a selection of reviews from journals of the time.
This edition presents the first scholarly edition of Robert Southey’s various writings about the prophetic movements of Romantic-era Britain. Its aim is to throw new light on two related areas: the nature and history of millenarian prophecy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—especially William Bryan, Richard Brothers, and Joanna Southcott—, and the significance of prophecy in Southey’s social, political analysis of his times. A fascinated commentator upon what he termed ‘enthusiasm’, Southey published two of the earliest accounts of Southcott and her predecessors ever written, accounts derived both from personal acquaintance with some of the major figures involved and from a detailed study of their writings. These accounts are reproduced here, collated with the manuscripts on which they were based, and with explanatory notes. In addition, a selection of Southey’s remarks on millenarians in his private manuscript correspondence is presented, and an introduction comprising a brief history of the prophetic movements in the Romantic era and a critical discussion of Southey’s writings on the subject.

March 2012

This edition collects twenty-one British writers from c. 1760–1830, a period which is today associated with the rise of Romantic sensibilities. A number of literary works in Britain were inspired by Old Norse manuscripts, collections of Danish folklore or similar such texts from Scandinavia. This electronic edition is a selection of these by canonical authors (such as Thomas Gray, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey, Walter Scott, and Ann Radcliffe), as well as selections by lesser known writers, whose texts have not previously been available to modern readers. This edition provides the contextual framework and necessary commentary to explain the ways in which these writers repurpose Norse material.

February 2012

The aim of this volume is to explore the Romantic credit crisis of 1797-1821. The decision to end cash payments and flood the economy with low denominational banknotes led to a spectacular increase in executions for banknote forgery. Many Romantic writers saw this bloody debacle as a sensational illustration of the dangers of an economic system based on mere "paper" value. While some critical attention has been given to the cultural history of credit (Brantlinger, Poovey), the issue of forgery has been overlooked. Yet, as the essays in this volume show, the impact of the credit crisis and its thousands of victims affected literature, journalism and art in often profound ways. Ian Haywood edits and contributes to the volume, along with Robert Miles, Alex Benchimol, Alex J. Dick, and Nick Groom.

January 2012

Romanticism and Disaster considers and responds to the timely concept of devastated life by thinking about how the capacity to read, interpret, and absorb disaster necessitates significant changes in theory, ethics, and common life. What if the consequences or "experience" of a disaster were less about psychic survival than an unblinking desire to face down the disaster as a challenge to normative structures? The essays in this volume attend to the rhetorical, epistemological, political, and social effects of romantic critique, and reflect on how processes of destruction and reconstitution, ruination and survival, are part and parcel of romanticism's grappling with a negativity that haunts its corners. Put in this way, "disaster" does not signal a referential event, but rather an undoing of certain apparently prior categories of dwelling, and forces us to contemplate living otherwise. In confronting the end of things, what are the conditions or possibilities of existence amidst catastrophe? What is a crisis, and what kinds of challenges does it occasion? What can be philosophically gained or lost by analyzing disaster in its multiple sites, contexts, and instances? This volume is edited and introduced by Jacques Khalip and David Collings, with essays by Scott J. Juengel, William Keach, Timothy Morton, and Rei Terada.
Robert Bloomfield's letters document one artist’s struggles (and sometimes his victories) to share his unique voice and vision; the online publication of his extant letters (a companion to this collection of essays) reveals new and exciting insights into Bloomfield the artist and the man. The essays included in this collection highlight and draw attention to aspects of Bloomfield's literary production that would likely not be possible without the full access to his letters that the edition provides, and make a strong case for why Bloomfield continues to be worthy of study. They suggest how much more remains to be said about this prolific poet. This volume is edited and introduced by John Goodridge and Bridget Keegan, with essays by Tim Fulford, Peter Denney, Ian Haywood, and Bridget Keegan.

October 2011

This Romantic Circles Praxis Volume moves the perspective of critical inquiry into British Romanticism from the Island (England) to the Islands (West Indies), considering the particular significance of the Atlantic—watery vortex of myriad economic and cultural exchanges, roaring multiplicity of agencies, and vast whirlpool of creative powers. Black Romanticism remembers a forgotten ancestry of British culture, recovering the vital agencies of diasporic Africans and creole cultures of the West Indies. It does so by practicing counter-literacy, reading the works of nation, empire, and colony against themselves to liberate the common cultures they occlude. The five essays presented here examine texts by or about Jean Jacque Dessalines, Juan Manzano, Jack Mansong, Mary Prince, and John Gabriel Stedman, following a circuitous route that begins in Africa and travels from Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Suriname, Bermuda, and Antigua to corresponding points in England, America, and the continent. The circulation of radically different adaptations of the “same” material provides new ways to understand the colonial Caribbean. This volume is edited and introduced by Paul Youngquist and Frances Botkin, with essays by Lindsay J. Twa, Lissette Lopez Szwydky, Joselyn Almeida, Dustin Kennedy, and Michele Speitz.

September 2011

The essays in Romantic Frictions find in Romanticism what philosophical modernity has often found there: a disposition to recognize oppositions that cannot be squared or resolved precisely because they constitute the ongoing work of culture and writing. Such frictions are embedded in a shifting temporal moment whose inner complexity is similarly textured such that neither history nor philosophy assumes a master (and fictional) disguise. Both are instead crosscut and assembled in ways that sustain an inner friction that invites being read. Rather than reify the critical tendency, stubbornly at issue since the 1980s, to suppose that Romanticism belongs either to deconstructive philosophy or to new historicism, the essays in this volume understand romanticism as a cultural and literary terrain where these and other disciplinary affiliations exist together, not as easy companions but as productive antagonists. This volume is edited and introduced by Theresa M. Kelley, with essays by Ian Duncan, Mary A. Favret, Daniel O'Quinn, Matthew Rowlinson, Colin Jager, and Jacques Khalip.

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