Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years

Overview


Drawing on numerous previously unpublished manuscript sources, this study reappraises Wordsworth's and Coleridge's radical careers in the years before their emergence as major poets. By tracing parallel experiences of political defeat in the lives of their contemporaries, Nicholas Roe argues against any generalized pattern of withdrawal from politics. Instead, Roe offers a reading of Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, and The Recluse emphasizing the integration of the imaginative life and radical experience. As he ...
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Overview


Drawing on numerous previously unpublished manuscript sources, this study reappraises Wordsworth's and Coleridge's radical careers in the years before their emergence as major poets. By tracing parallel experiences of political defeat in the lives of their contemporaries, Nicholas Roe argues against any generalized pattern of withdrawal from politics. Instead, Roe offers a reading of Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, and The Recluse emphasizing the integration of the imaginative life and radical experience. As he demonstrates, the loss of revolutionary idealism prefigured the collapse of Coleridge's creative and personal life after 1798, while for Wordsworth revolutionary failure was the key to his emergence as a poet.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[This] excellent study admirably substantiates the exact nature of their political involvement."--Studies in English Literature

"An important attempt to return Romanticism to its proper place as a literary and social movement, as well as a literary and psychological one....Roe's book is detailed and scrupulously researched and documented, but it is also an exciting narrative of two of the most interesting careers in English literary history."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"By his persuasive, cumulative delineation of cultural crisis, mapped on a scale both national, even international, and particular to the work of the two writers and the subculture of Camridge radicals in which they traveled, Roe reveals the rich soil from which the extraordinarily fertile interaction between Coleridge and Wordsworth stemmed when they met at last in the autumn of 1795."--Review

"Here is that genuine rarity, a study that adds enormously to an often treated subject....The rich manuscript sources consulted by Nicholas Roe, in both England and France, have yielded so much new information that all previous treatments are at once superseded....Students of English history and politics, as well as English majors, will here find the best account available of what the turbulent political-intellectual-religious atmosphere of London was like in the decade following the French Revolution....Gifted undergraduates as well as graduate faculty will profit from this outstanding volume."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198119692
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1990
  • Series: Oxford English Monographs Series
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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