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Joel Faflak and Julia M. Wright

Subject Literature » Romanticism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334968.2012.00001.x


This Handbook of Romanticism Studies is organized around a set of key terms. Some of these terms have been central to Romanticism studies for some time, such as imagination, sublime, and poetics. Other terms reflect critical trends of the last thirty years, including philosophy, race, historiography, and visual culture. And yet other terms name a selection of genres and modes on the margins of canonical Romanticism but increasingly important to a wider Romanticism studies, including satire, gothic, drama, and sensibility. The list of terms addressed here is not exhaustive, but it does offer a wide range of entry points to the study of Romanticism, from debates over the formal properties of high art to the complex world of Romantic-era theater to the impact of philosophical and scientific debates on conceptions of culture and cultural works. Romanticism studies, like other literary fields, has undergone a series of sea changes in the last thirty years. Until the 1980s, Romanticism scholarship and teaching were dominated by the so-called “Big Six”: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Sometimes this was reduced still further, to the “Big Five” or “Big Four,” dropping the unlyrical Blake and/or the too-worldly Byron. Then the field was reshaped by canon reform, spurred largely by feminist theory, the general ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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