Romantic Circles Blog

The British Library's Romantic and Victorian collections online

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

British Library Logo The British Library's Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians offers a wealth of material on the British 19th century, including William Blake’s notebook, childhood writings of the Brontë sisters, the manuscript of the Preface to Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, and an early draft of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

According to the site,

Discovering Literature features over 8000 pages of collection items and explores more than 20 authors through 165 newly-commissioned articles, 25 short documentary films, and 30 lesson plans. More than 60 experts have contributed interpretation, enriching the website with contemporary research. Designed to enhance the study and enjoyment of English literature, the site contains a dedicated Teachers’ Area supporting the curriculum for GCSE and A Level students.

Contextual materials of various sorts--newspapers, photographs, advertisements, and maps--accompany the materials, along with various teaching resources. The site is navigable by authors, works, themes, and "collection items," individual objects held in the library's collections.

New at RC Editions: An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome, by Ann Flaxman

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantic Circles is pleased to announce the publication of a new digital edition, Ann Flaxman’s An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome, edited by Marie E. McAllister.

This previously unpublished work tells the story of a female Grand Tour, something quite rare, and of an extended artist's visit to Italy, something quite common. In 1787 Flaxman set out for France and Italy with her husband, the sculptor John Flaxman, and a small company of fellow travelers. During her journey and in the months that followed her arrival in Rome, Flaxman kept a perceptive and entertaining journal for the benefit of friends at home, a group that included William and Catherine Blake. Personal yet nonetheless typical of its genre, Flaxman's Journey serves as an excellent introduction to English travel writing just before the French Revolution, and to the late-eighteenth-century international arts scene. It also reveals the challenges and rewards of being an atypically poor traveler and an aspiring woman writer.

New at RC Pedagogies Commons: Translation Theory / Pedagogical Practice

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantic Circles is pleased to announce a new special issue of Romantic Circles Pedagogies Commons, "Translation Theory Pedagogical Practice: Teaching Romantic Translation(s)," edited and introduced by C.C. Wharram, with essays by Aishah Alshatti, Daniel DeWispelare, Gillian Dow,Lesa Scholl, Valerie Henitiuk, and C.C. Wharram:

In recent years, we have witnessed the rapid migration of the field of translation studies from a position as “a backwater of the university” in the 1990s—to cite Lawrence Venuti’s oft-quoted complaint—to being a central object of scholarly inquiry in literary and cultural studies and beyond. Even as numerous conferences, symposia, and institutes are organized around the topic of translation, course readings in English literature have not yet come to reflect the same transformative impulse. In diverse ways, the scholars collected in this volume make compelling cases for expanding the repertoire of texts worthy of study in English classrooms to include translations, addressing texts by a wide range of authors and translators including Lord Byron, J. W. von Goethe, S.T. Coleridge, P.C. de Laclos, George Eliot, Sei Shônagon, and Germaine de Staël.

You can find the volume here.

New Romantic Circles Edition: William Godwin's Fables Ancient and Modern

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantics Circles is delighted to announce the publication of William Godwin’s Fables Ancient and Modern. Adapted for the Use of Children from Three to Eight Years of Age (1805), edited by Suzanne L. Barnett and Katherine Bennett Gustafson.

This edition is the first installment of a complete critical edition of William Godwin’s ten contributions to his Juvenile Library. It makes available for the first time since 1824 the first text that Godwin both authored and published under his own imprint, along with a comprehensive introduction and extensive notes by the editors. While literary historians have long been aware that radical author Godwin wrote and published children's books, these works are substantially less visible than his novels and philosophical writings. Yet, the profound cultural impact of Godwin's children's literature—especially as an expression of his social politics—necessitates their reproduction and welcomes further critical inquiry.

You can find Godwin’s Fables Ancient and Modern here.

New at Romantic Circles Praxis: Stanley Cavell and the Event of Romanticism

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantic Circles is delighted to announce the publication in its Praxis series of Stanley Cavell and the Event of Romanticism, edited by Eric Lindstrom, whose description of the volume follows:

At a climactic point in Part Four of The Claim of Reason (1979), the American philosopher Stanley Cavell arrives at the striking conclusion that “romanticism opens with the discovery of the problem of other minds, or with the discovery that the other is a problem, an opening of philosophy.” Cavell’s account of how Romanticism opens is not historical in orientation, but rather offers a rich conceptual, aesthetic, and ethical site of concern that both interrupts and generates his life’s work— thus presenting an opening for scholars and students of the Romantic Period to think the subject of Romanticism anew in studying (with) Cavell. The essays in this volume seek to provide the fullest account to date of Cavell’s prompting by Romanticism in light of his powerful record of engagement with British and European Romantic texts: a body of literature on which Cavell has performed several bravura readings.

Cavell’s writings and distinctive philosophical approach have garnered an increasing amount of sustained attention over the past several years, particularly since the publication of Philosophy the Day after Tomorrow (2005) and Little Did I Know (2010). Yet beyond his major American subjects of Thoreau and Emerson, there is still little published scholarship that engages Cavell’s thought at extended, close range with Romanticism as the moment that matters so much him: the “perfectionist” opening that comes after religion, but before philosophy. The present collection—with essays (in suggested reading order) by Emily Sun, Paul Fry, Eric Lindstrom, Eric Walker, and Anne-Lise François, and a substantial Afterword by Joshua Wilner—hinges between the efforts to record Cavell’s engagement with British Romantic texts and to stage new interventions.

Shelley in Baghdad: political potency and institutional censorship

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Professor Susan Wolfson has hipped us to a new article in this week's Rolling Stone that discusses, among many other things, an atmosphere at academic institutions that sees Percy Shelley as an ongoing cultural and social threat:

Meanwhile, in Baghdad's universities, departments were rife with sectarianism, and corruption was rotting out standards. Students bought their way into college, then through it. Professors bought research. Religious pressures constrained classes and content. Nadia Faydh, an English professor, was banned from teaching Marxist literary criticism and chastised by her department chair for teaching Shelley's "A Defense of Poetry," a canonical text of English Romanticism. Students had been offended by the way Shelley equated love and poetry with religion.

Wolfson calls the entire article by Roy Scranton "compelling, lucid, powerful." The full text is available here.

Call for nominations: Romantic Circles Reviews Editor

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantic Circles, a pioneering website focused on Romantic era literature and culture, is seeking a new Editor of its Reviews section. Now in its 18th year, Romantic Circles receives nearly 400,000 unique visits from users in 190 countries, who view a total of approximately 800,000 pages per year.

The Editor of Reviews will be working with our editorial team to expand the scope of reviews to include not only monographs, but also digital humanities projects and research tools. Under consideration, as well, is a more informal section of reviews that would cover representations of Romanticism in popular media.

Please send nominations, including self-nominations for RC Review Editor, to Nominations should include the candidate’s contact information.

New additions and revisions to the Letters of Robert Bloomfied

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

RC is pleased to announce the latest update to The Letters of Robert Bloomfield and his Circle. Tim Fulford and his co-editors have added annotated texts of newly-discovered letters by Robert and his brothers George and Nathaniel. Fragments of a MS poem by George are also presented. Altogether, the new texts illuminate the rapidly-changing print culture of the early nineteenth century. They show the relationship between labouring-class writers and their gentlemen patrons to have been more complex than previously thought; they reveal the power of the reviewing journals; they exhibit the political divisions within the rural working class, even in times of scarcity and protest. And they provide fascinating contemporary portraits of figures including Cobbett, Fox, and the Duchess of Devonshire. Among the works discussed are Robert's third collection Wild Flowers and Nathaniel's Essay on War.

See new letters 80a, 180a, 205a, 302a, 339a, 349a, 360a, 412, and, in the Contextual Materials section, George's fragment "Crude Thoughts."

New at Romantic Circles Praxis: Romantic Antiquarianism

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Romantic Circles is delighted to announce the publication in its Praxis Series of Romantic Antiquarianism, edited by Noah Heringman and Crystal B. Lake.

Featuring essays by leading art historians, literary scholars, and historians of antiquarianism, this volume sheds new light on Romanticism's material and visual cultures, and reveals the important role that antiquarian discourses and practices played in shaping neoclassicism, the sublime, and other major concepts of the Romantic period. In this moment, antiquarianism became all the more important, as increasingly specialized study of historical periods and different types of objects shaped the networks that linked antiquaries, engravers, and publishers with a public eager to experience in detail the customs and manners or material culture of the past.

Romantic Antiquarianism includes an editor's introduction by Noah Heringman and Crystal B. Lake, with essays by Martin Myrone, Jonathan Sachs, Thora Brylowe, Rosemary Hill, Timothy Campbell, Ina Ferris, & Sam Smiles, and a response by Jonah Siegel. It can be found here:

John Keats’s Early Poems, 1814-1817

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

An Academic Seminar organized by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the Keats Foundation, and supported by the British School at Rome

31 October 2014 at the KEATS-SHELLEY HOUSE, Rome

In order to mark the bicentenary of the composition of ‘Imitation of Spenser’ (1814), John Keats’s earliest known poem, the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the Keats Foundation are jointly hosting a day academic seminar on 31 October, Keats’s birthday, at the Keats-Shelley House in Rome.

Proposals for papers are invited on any subject focusing on, or relating to, Keats’s early poems, from ‘Imitation of Spenser’ itself up to the publication of his first full-length volume, Poems (1817).

Papers discussing poems by Keats published later than 1817 may, of course, be accepted, but only by means of comparison with earlier poems. Papers may be given in English or in Italian, and abstracts accepted in either language.
Deadline for submission of abstracts (c. 200 words): 30 June 2014. Registration fee €25.

For further information on registration, and to send your abstract, please contact in the first instance:
Dr Giuseppe Albano, Curator, Keats-Shelley House, Rome