Some of the most important scholarship has been forgotten. Booklists searches the history of British Romantic scholarship for the most important work relating to specific topics in the field.

This list will seem noticeably familiar to many.  And that appears to be the point.  If there ever was a primal scene for Romanticism and theory, especially in the way it was staged within North America, the 1970s would be the name for it.  Explicitly confronting or implicitly shadowboxing with that decade’s critical disposition still colors our critical endeavors more than forty years afterward, from New Historicism in the 1980s to contemporary interventions of the New Materialisms and the Affective Turn.  That said, the periodizing use of the 1970s was for me a heuristic as much as anything else, a way to get a partial handle on the rhizomatic weave presented to anyone trying to parse intelligently the idea of listing the key texts for Romanticism and theory.  The same goes for particularizing the narrative in terms of its North American settings—hence the inclusion of the 1974 U.S. publication of De La Grammatologie (1967) and the non-inclusion of Phillipe Lacoue-...


Robert Mitchell

Duke University

My list is admittedly somewhat eclectic, for while roughly half of the books and articles below focus explicitly on romanticism and science, the other half focuses on the sciences without (in some cases) engaging Romantic literature at all. However, for the reasons I note below, I’ve nevertheless found even these latter to be of great use and inspiration for thinking about relationships among Romanticism and the sciences.

1. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1998): originally published in 1958, a year after the launch of the Sputnik satellite, The Human Condition is, among many other things, a searching reflection on what the modern, experimental sciences--i.e., those that...


1. Marshall Brown, ‘Romanticism and Enlightenment’ in The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, ed. by Stuart Curran, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

This survey chapter is an excellent starting point for considering the vexed history of the relation between the two terms, and it covers numerous European authors in a clear and engaging way. As the author of the important work Preromanticism (Stanford University Press, 1993), Brown is particularly interested in the darkness of style and vocational doubts of mid- to late-eighteenth century poets. His emphasis, as in his earlier study, is on the continuities and the dialectical relationship between his key terms; he concludes, with qualification, that ‘Romanticism was...

Subscribe to <none>