Awarded the 2005 Jean-Pierre Barricelli Book Prize by the International Conference on Romanticism This book explores a cosmopolitan tradition of nineteenth-century novels written in response to Germaine de Staël's originary novel of the artist as heroine, corinne. The first book to delineate the contours of an international women's Romanticism, it argues that the künstlerromane of Mary Shelley, Bettine von Arnim, and George Sand offer feminist understandings of history and transcendence that constitute a critique of Romanticism from within. The book examines meditative, mystical and utopian visions of religious and artistic transcendence in the novels of women Romanticists as vehicles for the representation of a gendered subjectivity that seeks detachment and distance from the interests and strictures of the existing patriarchal social and cultural order. For these writers, the author argues, self-transcendence means an abandonment or dissolution of the individual self through political and spiritual efforts that culminate in a revelation of the divinity of a collective selfhood that comes into being through historical process.
What did it mean to write as a woman in the Romantic era? How did women writers test and refashion the claims or the grand self, the central 'I, ' we typically see in Romanticism? In this powerful and original study Meena Alexander examines the work of three women: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97) the radical feminist who typically thought of life as 'warfare' and revolted against the social condition of women; Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) who lived a private life enclosed by the bonds of femininity, under the protection of her poet brother William and his family; Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the daughter that Wollstonecraft died giving birth to, mistress then wife of the poet Percy Shelley, and precocious author of Frankenstein. Contents: Introduction: Mapping a Female Romanticism; Romantic Feminine; True Appearances; Of Mothers and Mamas; Writing in Fragments; Natural Enclosures; Unnatural Creation; Revising the Feminine; Versions of the Sublime^R
One of the most exciting developments in Romantic studies in the past decade has been the rediscovery and repositioning of women poets as vital and influential members of the Romantic literary community. This is the first volume to focus on women poets of this era and to consider how their historical reception challenges current conceptions of Romanticism. With a broad, revisionist view, the essays examine the poetry these women produced, what the poets thought about themselves and their place in the contemporary literary scene, and what the recovery of their works says about current and past theoretical frameworks. The contributors focus their attention on such poets as Felicia Hemans, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Charlotte Smith, Anna Barbauld, Mary Lamb, and Fanny Kemble and argue for a significant rethinking of Romanticism as an intellectual and cultural phenomenon. Grounding their consideration of the poets in cultural, social, intellectual, and aesthetic concerns, the authors contest the received wisdom about Romantic poetry, its authors, its themes, and its audiences. Some of the essays examine the ways in which many of the poets sought to establish stable positions and identities for themselves, while others address the changing nature over time of the reputations of these women poets.
First published in 2006. Women and Romanticism’s fifth volume covers The Golden Violet, with its Tales of Romance and Chivalry: and Other Poems. The collection reproduces work by Letitia Landon and thus addresses yet another gap in current accounts of women and Romanticism. Although Landon is now readily acknowledged as a significant author of the period, it is also the case that critical examinations of her life and work have tended to reinforce her own carefully crafted image as a poetess.Until the 1980s, a five-volume collection of materials on ‘Women and Romanticism’ would have been inconceivable, since Romantic studies largely restricted itself to a consideration of the major male poets of the period (William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats), When women were present in accounts of Romanticism, they were considered in terms of their literary function (as objects of representation), or in relation to their domestic (as mothers, daughters, wives and lovers of the authors). Indeed, the first Romantic women writers to enter academic discourse were those with familial connections to the canonized poets: Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Dorothy Wordsworth. Other writers of interest in the 1970s included Frances Burney and Jane Austen.
Offering a new understanding of canonical Romanticism, Daniela Garofalo suggests that representations of erotic love in the period have been largely misunderstood. Commonly understood as a means for transcending political and economic realities, love, for several canonical Romantic writers, offers, instead, a contestation of those realities. Garofalo argues that Romantic writers show that the desire for transcendence through love mimics the desire for commodity consumption and depends on the same dynamic of delayed fulfillment that was advocated by thinkers such as Adam Smith. As writers such as William Blake, Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, John Keats, and Emily Brontë engaged with the period's concern with political economy and the nature of desire, they challenged stereotypical representations of women either as self-denying consumers or as intemperate participants in the market economy. Instead, their works show the importance of women for understanding modern economics, with women's desire conceived as a force that not only undermines the political economy's emphasis on productivity, growth, and perpetual consumption, but also holds forth the possibility of alternatives to a system of capitalist exchange.
Taking twenty women writers of the Romantic period, Romanticism and Gender explores a neglected period of the female literary tradition, and for the first time gives a broad overview of Romantic literature from a feminist perspective.
Bringing together leading scholars from the USA, UK and Europe, this is the first substantial study of the seminal influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on British Romanticism. Reconsidering Rousseau's connection to canonical Romantic authors such as Wordsworth, Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and British Romanticism also explores his impact on a wide range of literature, including anti-Jacobin fiction, educational works, familiar essays, nature writing and political discourse. Convincingly demonstrating that the relationship between Rousseau's thought and British Romanticism goes beyond mere reception or influence to encompass complex forms of connection, transmission and appropriation, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and British Romanticism is a vital new contribution to scholarly understanding of British Romantic literature and its transnational contexts.