Electronic Editions

Romantic Circles Electronic Editions offers a searchable archive of texts of the Romantic era, enhanced by technology made possible in an online environment. Each edition is based on the highest scholarly standards and is peer-reviewed.

Section Editor: Michele Speitz

December 2021
Dorothy Wordsworth’s Lake District

A Romantic Circles Electronic Edition

Forthcoming 2022

October 2021
Mary, the Osier-Peeler | 1798

This electronic edition makes the text of Mary Morgan's Mary, the Osier-Peeler available for the first time in over 200 years from the single known copy in the world. As an electronic edition in Romantic Circles, the poem is machine-readable, enabling access not only to those without physical access, but also to those with sight disabilities in the spirit of its twentieth-century collector, Marguerite Hicks.

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May 2021
Anna Letitia Barbauld Letters to Lydia Rickards, 1798–1815

Anna Letitia Barbauld, whose collected works are in progress from Oxford University Press, was eminent as a poet, a path-breaking writer for children, a political writer during the years of the French Revolution and the Reform movement in Britain, and a woman of letters whose literary criticism went far to establish the modern canon of British novelists. Because most of her unpublished papers were destroyed in the bombing of London, it long seemed that only the letters published by her niece, Lucy Aikin, in Barbauld's Works (1825) survived today. In 2011, by sheer good luck a series of forty-three letters from Barbauld to a pupil, Lydia Rickards, came to light. Five of those letters were instructional (Lydia was one of Barbauld's many pupils) and will appear in the collected works. Thirty-eight others were social and sociable, and they are presented in this edition in texts that aim to reproduce as fully as practicable the characteristics of the holographs.
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May 2020
Wordsworth's Guide to the Lakes | 1810

Romantic Circles is delighted to announce the revised second edition of Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes, edited by Paul Westover and Nicholas Mason. Corresponding with the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth, the revised edition reveals new discoveries and insights about the text’s complex origins, publication history, and afterlives. First published in 1810 and then revised over three decades, Wordsworth’s Guide has long been recognized as a crucial text for students of Romantic-era landscape aesthetics, ecology, travel writing, and tourism. While several resources remain largely unchanged—notably the fully annotated, illustrated text of the 1835 edition and the bibliographic, cartographic, and textual tools for studying the Guide—the editors have significantly reworked, extended, and, in some cases, corrected their earlier account of the essay’s origins, composition, and initial publication.
November 2019
Collected Writings of Robert Bloomfield

Admired by Wordsworth and Southey, called by Clare 'the greatest Pastoral Poet England ever gave birth too’, Robert Bloomfield was one of the bestselling poets of the nineteenth century. A labouring-class writer famed for his rural verse, Bloomfield was not only a major influence on Clare but also a children’s author, playwright, tourist writer, and literary critic. The Collected Writings of Robert Bloomfield is the first ever scholarly edition of his entire oeuvre. The editors have collated all the lifetime editions of his publications, making it possible as never before to study the range of his work and the many revisions it underwent. The poems’ textual histories are displayed in variants, editorial footnotes and explanatory introductions. The literary and biographical contexts are discussed, as are the works' critical receptions and publication histories. The effect on his publications of Bloomfield’s vexed position, caught between the traditional expectations of a patron and the demands of a commercial bookseller is detailed. As a result, it is now possible to see Bloomfield both as a major nature poet and as a dramatic illustration of the new pressures on the author caused by the expansion of print culture in the Romantic era. The Collected Writings takes its place alongside the other Bloomfield resources on Romantic Circles—the Electronic Editions of his Letters and of his poem/tour journal/sketchbook The Banks of Wye—and the essay collection ‘The inestimable blessing of letters’.

December 2018
The Griffin (1820) and Other Works | 1820

This edition showcases the poetry of Thomas D’Arcy Morris (1792-1835), a significant figure in the Bombay literary scene of the early nineteenth century. It identifies and attributes Morris’s works, originally published anonymously or pseudonymously in contemporary newspapers and periodicals. The central text is the long review / poem The Griffin, accompanied by some related earlier works by Morris, and some contextual correspondence. The edition also includes a list of later anonymous and pseudonymous works by Morris from the Oriental Sporting Magazine (1828-1833).
July 2018
A Description of the Valley of Chamouni, in Savoy | 1819

By the time that Samuel Glover published A Description of the Valley of Chamouni, in Savoy in 1819, Mont Blanc was well established as a place of great scientific importance and as a key attraction for tourists and travellers seeking the mountain sublime. This edition re-situates Glover’s Description in the context of eighteenth-century and romantic-period writing about Chamonix-Mont Blanc and details its connections to Jean-Baptiste Troye’s popular exhibition of relief models of the area and the controversy surrounding the inscriptions left in the registers of various hotels and tourist sites around Chamonix by Percy Bysshe Shelley in July 1816. It also attempts to solve what is now the mystery of who Samuel Glover might have been: hardly any information about him survives, and what few details are available are all connected with Description.

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June 2017
The Siege of Gibraltar and Miscellaneous Pieces | 1781

This electronic edition makes available the works of the mostly unknown late-eighteenth-century poet and teacher Catherine Upton, including The Siege of Gibraltar (1781), an epistolary prose narrative, and Miscellaneous Pieces (1784), a collection of poetry and prose. These two works appear to represent the whole of Upton’s small oeuvre, and they contribute to both the body of Romantic-era women’s poetry and, more specifically, to the body of women’s writing about war.

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March 2017
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Six

Based on extensive new archival research, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Six: 1819 to 1821 brings together for the first time Southey’s surviving letters from a period of turbulence and transition in his own life and in wider society. The 546 letters published here are testimony to Southey’s formidable energy and commitment to letter writing as a vehicle for social networking and for the exchange of information and opinion. They show his active engagement in cultural and political debate locally, nationally and internationally. They reflect on a vast range of subjects, including domestic and familial relationships, medicine and science, economics, the law, the history, flora and fauna of the Lake District and of Brazil, attempts to improve the lot of distressed gentlewomen, the need to treat men who acted ‘unlawfully (especially in mobs)’ as wild ‘beasts’, European lotteries, and new inventions such as the ‘German Horse’ (a predecessor of the bicycle).
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June 2016
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Five | 1816 to 1818

Based on extensive new archival research, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Five: 1816-1818 publishes for the first time Southey’s surviving letters from a period of considerable upheaval in his own life and in wider society. These were years that saw Southey get to grips with the ambiguities inherent in his role as an ambitious, reforming Poet Laureate, face public controversy and the ghost of his younger, radical self with the illicit publication of Wat Tyler in 1817, and combat private despair over the death of his son. The 537 letters published here are proof that, despite the numerous demands on his time, Southey remained in mid life a vigorous and indefatigable correspondent. They cover a massive variety of subjects – literary and non-literary, public and private, local and global. They shed new light on Southey’s views on literature, politics, religion and society; his work as Poet Laureate and his engagement in public life and public controversy; his relationships with his contemporaries, including Coleridge, Caroline Bowles, Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Samuel Rogers, William Wilberforce and Wordsworth; his domestic life in Keswick; his extended family and social networks; his extensive reading; his working practices; his prolific output of poetry and prose; and his interactions with publishers and negotiation of the literary marketplace. The letters show Southey’s career in progress, reveal that it was more complex than has previously been thought, and provide compelling evidence about how his works were shaped and reshaped by external pressures that he could not always control or defeat. They thus make it possible to refine our understanding both of Southey and of the ways in which Romantic writers came to terms with the complex and contentious culture of the mid-late 1810s.
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February 2015
Verses Transcribed for H.T. | 1805

Published here for the first time, Verses Transcribed for H.T. is a manuscript collection of 121 original lyric poems with 72 original illustrations that Mary Tighe prepared in 1805 as she was contemplating publishing a volume of poetry that would feature her epic romance "Psyche; or, the Legend of Love" accompanied by a selection of her lyrics. Instead she opted to print 50 copies of Psyche; or, The Legend of Love (London, 1805) without any additions from Verses in a small private edition that she dedicated and distributed to family and friends (her only publication). After she died her family published Psyche, with Other Poems (London, 1811), which offered a carefully culled and re-ordered selection of 29 lyrics from Verses (with 10 additional lyrics).

Verses Transcribed for H.T. provides a truly unique opportunity to see Tighe as the determining editor of her own collected poems. Organized in deliberate clusters, Verses is a self-consciously constructed aesthetic artifact that radically revises prior knowledge of Tighe's literary, visual, and material production: 65 of the 121 poems had not appeared in any known print sources as of yet; 17 of the 121 poems contain significant variants from the published versions; at least 15 of the poems are written in the voice of characters from Tighe's 1803 manuscript novel Selena, versus the 11 that are printed in the novel; dozens attest to Tighe's full-scale engagement with contemporary poetics and politics: the discourse of sensibility, Della Cruscan poetry, coterie culture, the sonnet revival, Romantic antiquarianism, the 1794 Treason Trials, the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the 1801 Act of Union, and more.

This edition contains a comprehensive introduction by the editor, a fully annotated and searchable transcription of the manuscript, and digital images of the manuscript pages, made available through the kind courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.

August 2014
An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome | 1787 to 1789

Ann Flaxman's An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome 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 travellers. 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 previously unpublished 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 traveller and an aspiring woman writer.
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July 2014
Fables Ancient and Modern, by Edward Baldwin, Esq. | 1805

This is the first installment of a complete critical edition of 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, Fables Ancient and Modern. Adapted for the Use of Children from Three to Eight Years of Age (1805), along with a comprehensive introduction and extensive notes by the editors. While literary historians have long been aware that radical author William 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.

August 2013
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Three | 1804 to 1809

Part Three is the first-ever collected edition of the surviving letters written by Southey between 1804 and 1809. The letters published here begin with Southey writing to his brother with a draft of his epic poem Madoc; they end on New Year’s Eve 1809, with him discussing Coleridge’s The Friend and his own new writing in the Quarterly Review and The Curse of Kehama (published in 1810). The years 1804–1809 saw the consolidation of important relationships and correspondences, notably with the statistician John Rickman, the translator William Taylor, and the writer Mary Barker. New correspondences of lasting significance were begun: with Neville White, brother of Henry Kirke White, leading to Southey’s editing of Henry’s Remains; with Matilda Betham, who would paint Southey’s and his family’s portraits in London and Keswick; with Anna Seward, who would support his poetry in the press and to whom he would make an hilarious visit; with Walter Savage Landor, whose enthusiasm for his poetry inspired him to return to writing verse in The Curse of Kehama and Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814); with Walter Scott, whose good offices led Southey to a new career writing for the Quarterly Review and the Edinburgh Annual Register, and to the Laureateship.
August 2013
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Four | 1810 to 1815

Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick – a Lake Poet by residence if not by inclination and one whose interests and connections engaged him in global networks and exchanges. The years 1810-1815 were exceptionally busy ones for Southey. His output was, even by his own standards, prodigious and diverse, encompassing history, reviews, biography, polemics and chronicles of contemporary events. A productive time for Southey the prose writer, the period also saw the revitalisation of his poetic career with the publication of two long poems (The Curse of Kehama in 1810 and Roderick, the Last of the Goths in 1814), new editions of earlier works and plans for new verses aplenty.

A distinctive feature of Southey’s shorter poems from this time is a move towards and investment in the contemporary. It was a move prompted by his controversial decision, in November 1813, to accept the Poet Laureateship. The letters we publish here make it possible for the first time to chart how and why that decision was made, how the resulting disputes were ignited, and how Southey responded to them. In so doing, they show how Southey’s high hopes for the Laureateship foundered on the rocks of reality and thus provide new insights into the vexatious relationship between Romantic poets and the public sphere.

Note: With the publication of Parts 3 and 4, Technical Editor Dr. Laura Mandell has added indexes that allow finding all letters by names of addresees, names of people mentioned in them, and names of places mentioned in them. Visit the Correspondents, Biographies, and Places files to see these indexes at work. A dynamic graphing tool called "Relate" indicates relationships among members of the Southey Circle, and an article by Mandell and Pratt describing how to use that tool will be available in the next few days at Digital Studies / Le Champ Numérique, a special issue concerning data visualization.

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March 2013
Nobody: A Comedy in Two Acts | 1794

This electronic edition of Mary Robinson’s Nobody (Drury Lane, 1794), based on the only surviving manuscript of the play (LA 1046) housed in the Larpent collection at the Henry E. Huntington Library, is the first to present a widely-available and searchable transcript of the play along with a comprehensive introduction, extensive notes by the editor, and contexts of the drama, including contemporary commentaries, poems, puffs, and reviews, an account of the public reaction to the play from the Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Robinson (1801), and relevant excerpts from Mary Robinson’s 'Present State of the Manners, Society, &c. &c. of the Metropolis of England' (1800) and James Boaden’s The Life of Mrs. Jordan (1831).
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October 2012
The Gipsy Prince | 1801

Published here for the first time, The Gipsy Prince (Haymarket, 24 July 1801), was the collaboration of Thomas Moore who composed the libretto and lyrics and Michael Kelly who provided the musical score. Though it had the second longest run of Haymarket's summer season, the censoring authorities had not recognized the ploy of introducing the Irish under English rule as Gipsies during the Spanish Inquisition. Although the play could not be revived the following season, publisher John Roach supported Moore by publishing the hoaxing "source," a prose narrative from which Moore pretended to have derived his play. With an introduction by Frederick Burwick, this edition includes his transcription of the previously unpublished manuscript, the prose narrative ostensibly translated from the Spanish, the sheet music as published by Michael Kelly, recordings of the overture and songs as performed under the musical direction of Stephen Pu, and a variorum of the lyrics to facilitate side-by-side comparisons of all versions of the songs. The edition also provides page-by-page images of the original materials.
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July 2012
Robert Southey and Millenarianism: Documents Concerning the Prophetic Movements of the Romantic Era

This edition presents the first scholarly edition of Robert Southey’s various writings about the prophetic movements of Romantic-era Britain. Its aim is to throw new light on two related areas: the nature and history of millenarian prophecy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—especially William Bryan, Richard Brothers, and Joanna Southcott—, and the significance of prophecy in Southey’s social, political analysis of his times. A fascinated commentator upon what he termed ‘enthusiasm’, Southey published two of the earliest accounts of Southcott and her predecessors ever written, accounts derived both from personal acquaintance with some of the major figures involved and from a detailed study of their writings. These accounts are reproduced here, collated with the manuscripts on which they were based, and with explanatory notes. In addition, a selection of Southey’s remarks on millenarians in his private manuscript correspondence is presented, and an introduction comprising a brief history of the prophetic movements in the Romantic era and a critical discussion of Southey’s writings on the subject.
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July 2012
The Banks of Wye | 1811

An edition of Robert Bloomfield's multimedia picturesque tour of the Wye valley. Poem, tour journal, sketchbook. This edition presents a rare surviving example of the kind of multimedia production that arose from one of the new cultural activities of the late eighteenth century—the picturesque and antiquarian tour. It comprises a facsimile of the manuscript sketch- and scrap-book that Robert Bloomfield made after his 1807 tour of the Wye, an annotated transcription of the prose tour-journal that he incorporated into his scrap book, and a collated and annotated text of the poetic versions of the tour that were published (as The Banks of Wye) in 1811, 1813, and 1823. Also included are reproductions of the engravings that illustrated the 1811 and 1813 publications, deleted or unadopted passages from the manuscript of the poem, and a selection of reviews from journals of the time.
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March 2012
Norse Romanticism

This edition collects twenty-one British writers from c. 1760–1830, a period which is today associated with the rise of Romantic sensibilities. A number of literary works in Britain were inspired by Old Norse manuscripts, collections of Danish folklore or similar such texts from Scandinavia. This electronic edition is a selection of these by canonical authors (such as Thomas Gray, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey, Walter Scott, and Ann Radcliffe), as well as selections by lesser known writers, whose texts have not previously been available to modern readers. This edition provides the contextual framework and necessary commentary to explain the ways in which these writers repurpose Norse material.
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