Lessons of Romanticism

A Critical Companion

Lessons of Romanticism

Book Pages: 488 Illustrations: 19 figures, 7 musical examples Published: April 1998

Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

Moving beyond views of European Romanticism as an essentially poetic development, Lessons of Romanticism strives to strengthen a critical awareness of the genres, historical institutions, and material practices that comprised the culture of the period. This anthology—in recasting Romanticism in its broader cultural context—ranges across literary studies, art history, musicology, and political science and combines a variety of critical approaches, including gender studies, Lacanian analysis, and postcolonial studies.
With over twenty essays on such diverse topics as the aesthetic and pedagogical purposes of art exhibits in London, the materiality of late Romantic salon culture, the extracanonical status of Jane Austen and Fanny Burney, and Romantic imagery in Beethoven’s music and letters, Lessons of Romanticism reveals the practices that were at the heart of European Romantic life. Focusing on the six decades from 1780 to 1832, this collection is arranged thematically around gender and genre, literacy, marginalization, canonmaking, and nationalist ideology. As Americanists join with specialists in German culture, as Austen is explored beside Beethoven, and as discussions on newly recovered women’s writings follow fresh discoveries in long-canonized texts, these interdisciplinary essays not only reflect the broad reach of contemporary scholarship but also point to the long-neglected intertextual and intercultural dynamics in the various and changing faces of Romanticism itself.

Contributors. Steven Bruhm, Miranda J. Burgess, Joel Faflak, David S. Ferris, William Galperin, Regina Hewitt, Jill Heydt-Stevenson, H. J. Jackson, Theresa M. Kelley, Greg Kucich, C. S. Matheson, Adela Pinch, Marc Redfield, Nancy L. Rosenblum, Marlon B. Ross, Maynard Solomon, Richard G. Swartz, Nanora Sweet, Joseph Viscomi, Karen A. Weisman, Susan I. Wolfson


“Like most conference volumes, [Lessons of Romanticism] provides a snapshot of the profession, especially of the work being pursued by the rising generation. It is largely uncompromising in its rigor and rhetoric, and Austen enthusiasts will find it interesting primarily for what it suggests of her current role in advanced study of the period.” — Gene W. Ruoff , Jane Austen Society of North America

"Each of these articles is closely argued and indeed challenging and each certainly recognises rich and complex views of both Austen and Romanticism. . . . [R]ewarding. . . ." — Pamela Nutt, Jane Austen Society of American Newsletter

Lessons of Romanticism offers new, creative, and stimulating material, both on the more localized front of the subject matter of the individual essays and more broadly on the wide, diverse, intertextual and intercultural landscape of Romantic studies generally. Every essay takes its subject in new directions.” — Stephen C. Behrendt, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“A richly rewarding and important body of work. This wide-ranging volume brings together the sophisticated and differing voices of contemporary critics as they seek to recover the densely particularized cultural work of Romanticism.” — Jeffrey N. Cox, Texas A&M University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Thomas Pfau is Associate Professor of English at Duke University.

Robert F. Gleckner is Professor of English at Duke University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Reading beyond Redemption: Historicism, Irony, and the Lessons of Romanticism / Thomas Pfau 1

Varieties of Bildung in European Romanticism and Beyond

Romanticism, Bildung, and the Literary Absolute / Marc Redfield 41

The Inhibitions of Democracy on Romantic Political Thought: Thoreau's Democratic Individualism / Nancy L. Rosenblum 55

Between Irony and Radicalism: The Other Way of a Romantic Education / Karen A. Weisman 76

Friendly Instruction: Coleridge and the Discipline of Sociology / Regina Hewitt 89

Keats and the Aesthetics of Critical Knowledge; or, The Ideology of Studying Romanticism at the Present Time / David S. Ferris 103

Reading Habits: Scenes of Romantic Miseducation and the Challenge of Eco-Literacy / Marlon B. Ross 126

Postmodernism, Romanticism, and John Clare / Theresa M. Kelley 157

Images and Institutions of Cultural Literacy in Romanticism

The Lessons of Swedenborg; or, The Origin of William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell / Joseph Viscomi 173

Coleridge's Lessons in Translation: The "Logic" of the "Wildest Odes" / H.J. Jackson 213

Some Romantic Images in Beethoven / Maynard Solomon 225

"Lorenzo's" Liverpool and "Corinne's" Coppet: The Italianate Salon and Romantic Education / Nanora Sweet 244

Liberty, Connection, and Tyranny: The Novels of Jane Austen and the Aesthetic Movement of the Picturesque / Jill Heydt-Stevenson 261

The Royal Academy and the Annual Exhibition of the Viewing Public / C.S. Matheson 280

Romantic Psychoanalysis: Keats, Identity, and "(The Fall of) Hyperion" / Joel Faflak 304

"Their terrors came upon me tenfold": Literacy and Ghosts in John Clare's Autobiography / Richard G. Swartz 328

Gender, Sexuality, and the (Un)Romantic Canon

A Lesson in Romanticism: Gendering the Soul / Susan J. Wolfson 349

What Happens When Jane Austen and Frances Burney Enter the Romantic Canon? / William Galperin 376

Domesticating Gothic: Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, and National Romance / Miranda J. Burgess 392

Learning What Hurts: Romanticism, Pedagogy, Violence / Adela Pinch 413

Reforming Byron's Narcissism / Steven Bruhm 429

"This Horrid Theatre of Human Sufferings": Gendering the Stages of History in Catharine Macaulay and Percy Bysshe Shelly / Greg Kucich 448

Contributors 467

Index 471
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2091-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2077-7
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