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Student Research on the Web: Studying Romanticism¹ Online

This document contains four sections:

  1. Navigating on the Internet
  2. The Terms "Romanticism" and "Romantic Studies"
  3. A Discussion of Some Internet Resources in More Detail

1. Navigating the Internet:

URLs ("Uniform Resource Locators") are Internet addresses that can be typed into the "Go To:" or "Location:" lines of your browser (Netscape, Microsoft Explorer, etc.), to take you to files on the Internet. These Web documents simultaneously describe or list and provide access to sources on the Internet through links, those underlined words (usually in blue) on which you put your cursor and click your mouse to go to another Web file. Some source documents at which you will finally arrive after going from link to link are literary texts for printing out (careful!! they might be huge!) or for reading on the computer screen. You can search for URLs on the topic of Romantic literature using a search engine such as Yahoo or Excite: click on a "Net Search" button found somewhere near the top of your browser. Or, to get started in finding out what is on the Internet related to Romantic Studies,¹, put the following URLs into your Location Bar, and then hit enter:



You may go to these places and then find lots of links you wish to follow to find other Web and source documents retated to Romantic Studies.¹

2. The Terms "Romanticism" and "Romantic Studies":

What is the difference between "Romantic Studies" and "Romanticism"? Romantic Studies is the discipline within English, French, German, and Comparative Literature departments that covers writers of the Romantic Period conventionally dated within literary studies as the period extending from 1780 to 1830 (the dates differ in other disciplines, music and art history, e.g.). Romanticism, on the other hand, is what the writers of the Romantic Period practiced: there is not much agreement about what that is exactly, and there is in fact a longstanding debate about whether there is such a thing or only Romanticisms. See A. O. Lovejoy, "On the Discrimination of Romanticisms," PMLA, 1924; René Wellek, "The Concept of `Romanticism' in Literary History," Comparative Literature, 1949; and finally, Jerome McGann's Introduction to The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse (revised edition).

3. A Discussion of Some Internet Resources in More Detail—

A. The Romantic Chronology

The Romantic Chronology: this chronology will be much enlarged by the end of August, before classes start. You can easily download and print sections of the anthology for distribution in classes. Explored online, it provides links to texts available online and to more information on specific topics.

Sharon Setzer reports that she has students look up on the online chronology events surrounding the publication date of those poems that she has asked students to read for a particular class. After they have explored the chronology, class discussions involve students remembering different aspects of the historical moment and working together to bring them to bear on readings of the poetry.

See The Romantic Chronology at:


B. The Blake Archive

Morris Eaves, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi announce "The Blake Archive," a hypermedia archive hosted at the University of Virginia that "will contain about 3000 images, 2/3 from the illuminated books, the remaining 1/3 from Blake's paintings, drawings, and engravings." For a description of the archive, go to:


C. Romantic Circles

Neil Fraistat, Steve Jones, Donald Reiman, and Carl Stahmer have just announced a major new Website, Romantic Circles: Byron, Keats, The Shelleys, and Their Contemporaries at


Their announcement of the new site states: ROMANTIC CIRCLES is organized as a meta-resource that will be open-ended, collaborative, and porous—maintaining and encouraging many potential links into the three main entities: 1) Electronic editions; 2) Scholarly Resources; and 3) Critical Exchange. The last of these sections will include a real-time, interactive MOO, the Villa Diodati.

D. Women Romantic-Era Writers

One of the richest sources for links to databases that have on them texts by non-canonical women authors is Adriana Craciun's "Women Romantic-Era Writers" (University of Nottingham) at:


The "Women Romantic-Era Writers" page provides links to the sources, the URLs of which are listed above.

Go back to the Romantic Circles Pedagogy Page.



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Romantic Circles is published by the University of Maryland.
General Editors: Neil Fraistat, Steven E. Jones, Carl Stahmer
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