Living Forms: Romantics and the Monumental Figure

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Overview

Based on years of archival research in various British and American libraries, Living Forms examines the early nineteenth century's fascination with representations of the human form, particularly those from the past, which, having no adequate verbal explanatory text, are vulnerable to having their meanings erased by time. The author explores a variety of such representations and responses to them, including Coleridge's Shakespeare lectures, Hazlitt's essays on portraits, Keats's poems on mythic and sculpted figures, meditations by Byron's Childe Harold on the monuments of Italy, Felicia Hemans's verses on monuments to and by women, and Shelley's poems and letters on figures from Italy, Egypt, and other antique lands. Haley argues that in what has been called the "museum age," Romantics sought aesthetically to frame these figures as "living forms," mental images capable of realization in alternate modes or forms.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Bruce Haley is Professor of English at the University of Utah and author of The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Thoughts on Nelson's Monument in St. Paul's 1
Ch. 1 Imaginary Museum 13
Ch. 2 History's Seen and Unseen Forms: Peacock and Shelley 35
Ch. 3 Coleridge's Shakespeare Gallery 59
Ch. 4 Hazlitt's Portraits: The Informing Principle 83
Ch. 5 Symbolic Forms: The Sleeping Children 111
Ch. 6 Wordsworth's Prelude: Objects that Endure 129
Ch. 7 Fortune's Rhetoric: Allegories for the Dead 147
Ch. 8 The Mourner Turned to Stone: Byron and Hemans 165
Ch. 9 "Those Speechless Shapes": Shelley's Rome 193
Ch. 10 Keats's Temples and Shrines 219
Conclusion 253
Notes 259
Works Cited 281
Index 299
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