Romantic Circles Publications

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June 2016

Based on extensive new archival research, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Five: 1816-1818 publishes for the first time Southey’s surviving letters from a period of considerable upheaval in his own life and in wider society. These were years that saw Southey get to grips with the ambiguities inherent in his role as an ambitious, reforming Poet Laureate, face public controversy and the ghost of his younger, radical self with the illicit publication of Wat Tyler in 1817, and combat private despair over the death of his son. The 537 letters published here are proof that, despite the numerous demands on his time, Southey remained in mid life a vigorous and indefatigable correspondent. They cover a massive variety of subjects – literary and non-literary, public and private, local and global. They shed new light on Southey’s views on literature, politics, religion and society; his work as Poet Laureate and his engagement in public life and public controversy; his relationships with his contemporaries, including Coleridge, Caroline Bowles, Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Samuel Rogers, William Wilberforce and Wordsworth; his domestic life in Keswick; his extended family and social networks; his extensive reading; his working practices; his prolific output of poetry and prose; and his interactions with publishers and negotiation of the literary marketplace. The letters show Southey’s career in progress, reveal that it was more complex than has previously been thought, and provide compelling evidence about how his works were shaped and reshaped by external pressures that he could not always control or defeat. They thus make it possible to refine our understanding both of Southey and of the ways in which Romantic writers came to terms with the complex and contentious culture of the mid-late 1810s.

May 2016

What might romantic minimality and brevity suggest as alternative additions to our critical vocabulary in romantic studies? How do they allow us to think differently—and briefly—about a constellation of questions and perspectives that throw into relief the necessity to think through the small, negligent, obscure, too little or too much, the ephemeral, the mere there is, the all but not there? The authors of the position papers collected for this issue were each asked to respond to just these kinds of prompts, and to keep their arguments operatively brief. Conciseness and intensification in service of our theme of brevity and minimality was the order of the day. The space between stanzas, like the disappearance of a ruin into history, became equal considerations for reflecting on the brevity of things that the larger “life” of romanticism cannot ever ignore.

May 2016

These essays offer diverse ways of thinking about the intersections of Romanticism and pedagogy: both what Romantic-era figures themselves thought about the processes of learning and teaching and also what we as modern educators might consider as we present these texts and figures to our students. It is our hope that they will contribute to ongoing conversations among scholars and teachers of Romanticism about the history and future of humanities education, and in particular will foster cross-historical conversations.

March 2016

The essays in this volume probe the way that Romantic writers explored the limits and possibilities of thinking in terms of systems. The purpose of the collection is not to provide a single perspective adopted by Romantic authors, any more than it is to provide a single theoretical perspective with which to view those authors. Instead, the essays collectively convey a sense that Romantic writers viewed systems with a distinctive mixture of skepticism, anxiety, and enthusiasm.

December 2015

2015 Winners Announced

The contest was devised in the hopes of celebrating recent pedagogical innovation, inspiring creative new approaches and creating an additional forum for conversations about Romantic pedagogy—both its boons and challenges.  Teachers of all ranks may submit teaching materials, and a panel of three to four finalists are selected to discuss their pedagogy during a panel at the annual NASSR conference. Exemplary submissions consider how teaching revivifies Romanticism, in any of its myriad forms.

November 2015

This volume of five essays focus on how the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley uses and modifies Gothic conventions across his whole writing career so as, on the one hand, to extend the limits of the Gothic, shading it into a wider Romanticism, and, on the other, to press the limits of the Gothic down to their most basic foundations, releasing new potentials. These essays all argue in different way that, by the end of his career, Shelley has proposed an answer to the question: what does Gothic writing most basically assume in its mixtures of previous genres, and how do these assumptions both establish its limits and set the stage for transgressing them?

October 2015

This volume takes as its starting point a 2001 volume in the Romantic Circles Praxis Series, Reading Shelley’s Interventionist Poetry, 1819-1820, in which volume-editor Michael Scrivener, employing Theodor Adorno's terminology, interrogates a potential binary in our understanding of Shelley's "interventionist" work: the "antinomy of commitment and autonomy." Asking what it means for a work of art to intervene in its immediate political context, the present volume asserts the necessity of seeing through and beyond the antinomy of political commitment and artistic autonomy by rereading and reimagining the political in Shelley’s writings and his legacy. Indeed, the essays in this volume chart new political possibilities in our estimation of Shelley’s body of work—pathways that take us back to post-Peterloo repression through to the Victorian Shelleyans, and then forward to Jacques Rancière’s post-Marxism.

September 2015

The new Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions section is an innovative venture in contemporary Romantic scholarship, comprising short reviews of recent work, live BookChats, BookLists, a forum for debate, and an evolving compendium of appearances of Romanticism in popular culture.

April 2015

First published in 1810 and then revised over three decades, Wordsworth’s Guide has long been recognized as a crucial text for students of Romantic-era landscape aesthetics, ecology, travel writing, and tourism. The Romantic Circles edition provides access to the rare 1810 text and its images, an extensively annotated and illustrated version of the 1835 text (the last edition revised by Wordsworth), a parallel-text feature that allows readers to track and visualize the evolution of the book across its various editions, excerpts from letters by Wordsworth and his circle that shed light on the work’s genesis and development, an annotated bibliography of previous scholarly editions and criticism on the Guide, and a mapping feature that allows readers to identify and explore virtually the many locations mentioned by Wordsworth. The edition’s introduction offers fresh information on the Guide’s publication and reception history and situates it in the larger context of Lakeland writing and the development of the Lake District as tourist terrain.
The essays collected here describe curricular ideas, innovations, and practices that seek to move us beyond simple questions of Austen’s accessibility, relevance, and context. The contributors ask how we might enrich the teaching of Austen’s fiction by seeing her in conversation with manuscript culture, children’s literature, Harry Potter, or Romantic poetry. Collectively, these essays look to what it means to teach Austen in many kinds of classes and classrooms, with differently located learners and with a variety of texts, tools, and assignments.

February 2015

The six essays collected here suggest that Romanticism exposes us to a materialism that cannot merely be overcome and an idealism with which it is not identical. By reading beyond the texts conventionally associated with Romanticism, and by recasting the critical tendencies–from thing theory to object oriented ontology–through the poets, genres, and critics of Romanticism, these essays position Romanticism (and show how Romanticism may always have been positioned) in another relation to things as they are–or may be.

February 2015

Published here for the first time, Verses Transcribed for H.T. is a manuscript collection of 121 original lyric poems with 72 original illustrations that Mary Tighe prepared in 1805 as she was contemplating publishing a volume of poetry that would feature her epic romance "Psyche; or, the Legend of Love" accompanied by a selection of her lyrics. Instead she opted to print 50 copies of Psyche; or, The Legend of Love (London, 1805) without any additions from Verses in a small private edition that she dedicated and distributed to family and friends (her only publication). After she died her family published Psyche, with Other Poems (London, 1811), which offered a carefully culled and re-ordered selection of 29 lyrics from Verses (with 10 additional lyrics).

Verses Transcribed for H.T. provides a truly unique opportunity to see Tighe as the determining editor of her own collected poems. Organized in deliberate clusters, Verses is a self-consciously constructed aesthetic artifact that radically revises prior knowledge of Tighe's literary, visual, and material production: 65 of the 121 poems had not appeared in any known print sources as of yet; 17 of the 121 poems contain significant variants from the published versions; at least 15 of the poems are written in the voice of characters from Tighe's 1803 manuscript novel Selena, versus the 11 that are printed in the novel; dozens attest to Tighe's full-scale engagement with contemporary poetics and politics: the discourse of sensibility, Della Cruscan poetry, coterie culture, the sonnet revival, Romantic antiquarianism, the 1794 Treason Trials, the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the 1801 Act of Union, and more.

This edition contains a comprehensive introduction by the editor, a fully annotated and searchable transcription of the manuscript, and digital images of the manuscript pages, made available through the kind courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.

December 2014

This volume is dedicated to both excavating the Romantic genealogies of visuality and charting directions for the ways in which the study of Romantic visual culture may redraw the geographic, temporal, and disciplinary bounds of Romanticism, bringing diverse, and in some instances new, objects and their ethical, political, and aesthetic stakes into view. The essays investigate three broad inquiries: 1) technologies of vision and objectivity’s slippages; 2) the indigenous or transplanted fruits of visuality’s New World Genealogies and 3) the role of proto-photography, panopticism, and slavery in the spectral formation of Romantic visuality. Emphasizing the ways we interpret visuality in romantic culture, the volume invites reconsideration of media, practices, and discourses that would seem to belong to earlier and later periods—from the artifacts and modes of viewing attached to curiosity and to technologies and ways of imaging and imagining that have become aligned with photography and the digital. The volume includes an editor's introduction by Theresa M. Kelley and Jill H. Casid, with essays by Sophie Thomas, Marcus Wood, Matthew Francis Rarey, Kay Dian Kriz, and Lucy Kamiko Hawkinson Traverse.

October 2014

This issue takes its inspiration from the writings on translation, tragedy and twentieth-century literary theory in the work of the late Romanticist and comparatist Tom McCall, who died suddenly in January 2011. Three noted Romanticists and literary theorists, taking off from specific critical essays by McCall, explore the centrality of Greek tragedy as it emerges in Romantic writing (especially that of Friedrich Hölderlin), for philosophy, literature, and literary theory. Passing between the Greek and the German (notably in Hölderlin’s translations of Sophocles), and between the literary and the philosophical, these papers offer new and original insights into the complex ways in which Romantic writing was bound to the translation and interpretation of Greek writing and the unique manner in which twentienth-century literary theory emerged from the Romantic reflection on the relation between language and the emergence (and suspension) of thought. Edited and introduced by Cathy Caruth, with essays by Cathy Caruth, Ian Balfour, David S. Ferris, and three contributions from Tom McCall (1 |2 |3).

August 2014

Ann Flaxman's An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome tells the story of a female Grand Tour, something quite rare, and of an extended artist's visit to Italy, something quite common. In 1787 Flaxman set out for France and Italy with her husband, the sculptor John Flaxman, and a small company of fellow travellers. During her journey and in the months that followed her arrival in Rome, Flaxman kept a perceptive and entertaining journal for the benefit of friends at home, a group that included William and Catherine Blake. Personal yet nonetheless typical of its genre, Flaxman's previously unpublished Journey serves as an excellent introduction to English travel writing just before the French Revolution, and to the late-eighteenth-century international arts scene. It also reveals the challenges and rewards of being an atypically poor traveller and an aspiring woman writer.

July 2014

In recent years, we have witnessed the rapid migration of the field of translation studies from occupying its position as “a backwater of the university” in the 1990s—to cite Lawrence Venuti’s oft-quoted complaint—to becoming a central object of scholarly inquiry in literary and cultural studies and beyond. Even as numerous conferences, symposia, and institutes are organized around the topic of translation, course readings in English literature have not yet come to reflect the same transformative impulse. In diverse ways, the scholars collected in this volume make compelling cases for expanding the repertoire of texts worthy of study in English classrooms to include translations, addressing texts by a wide range of authors and translators including Lord Byron, J.W. von Goethe, S.T. Coleridge, P.C. de Laclos, George Eliot, Sei Shônagon, and Germaine de Staël.

This is the first installment of a complete critical edition of Godwin’s ten contributions to his Juvenile Library. It makes available for the first time since 1824 the first text that Godwin both authored and published under his own imprint, Fables Ancient and Modern. Adapted for the Use of Children from Three to Eight Years of Age (1805), along with a comprehensive introduction and extensive notes by the editors. While literary historians have long been aware that radical author William Godwin wrote and published children's books, these works are substantially less visible than his novels and philosophical writings. Yet, the profound cultural impact of Godwin's children's literature—especially as an expression of his social politics—necessitates their reproduction and welcomes further critical inquiry.

July 2014

The American philosopher Stanley Cavell arrives at the striking conclusion that “romanticism opens with the discovery of the problem of other minds, or with the discovery that the other is a problem, an opening of philosophy.” Cavell’s account of how Romanticism opens is not historical in orientation, but rather offers a rich conceptual, aesthetic, and ethical site of concern that both interrupts and generates his life’s work—thus presenting an opening for scholars and students of the Romantic Period to think the subject of Romanticism anew in studying (with) Cavell. The present collection—with essays (in suggested reading order) by Emily Sun, Paul Fry, Eric Lindstrom, Eric Walker, and Anne-Lise François, and a substantial Afterword by Joshua Wilner—hinges between the efforts to record Cavell’s engagement with British Romantic texts and to stage new interventions.

June 2014

Featuring essays by leading art historians, literary scholars, and historians of antiquarianism, this volume sheds new light on Romanticism's material and visual cultures. Romantic Antiquarianism reveals the important role that antiquarian discourses and practices played in shaping neoclassicism, the sublime, and other major concepts of the Romantic period. Edited and introduced by Noah Heringman and Crystal B. Lake, with essays by Martin Myrone, Jonathan Sachs, Thora Brylowe, Rosemary Hill, Timothy Campbell, Ina Ferris, & Sam Smiles, and a response by Jonah Siegel.

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.

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