Romance and Revolution: Shelley and the Politics of a Genre
The revival of romance as a literary form and the imaginative impact of the French Revolution are acknowledged influences on English Romanticism, but their relationship has rarely been addressed. In this innovative study of the transformations of a genre, David Duff examines the paradox whereby the unstable visionary world of romance came to provide an apt language for the representation of revolution, and how the literary form was itself politicized in the period. Drawing on an extensive range of textual and visual sources, the author traces the ambivalent ideological overtones of the chivalric revival, the polemical appropriation of the language of romance in the "pamphlet war" of the 1790s, and the emergence of a radical cult of chivalry among the Hunt-Shelley circle in 1815-17.
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action already appears argument Bliss British Burke Burke's called Canto century chapter chivalry claim contemporary Critical described dream effect enchanted English essay example experience expression fact figure France French Revolution genre Godwin hand heart hero hope human Hunt idea ideal imaginative important interest interpretation John Justice kind King language Laon and Cythna Laon's later Letters lines literary literature London means metaphor mind moral narrative nature Notes notion once original paradise passage philosophical phrase pleasure poem poetic poetry political present progress published Queen Mab quest question quoted radical readers reason reference Reflections remarks Review revival revolutionary Rights romance Round scene seems sense Shelley Shelley's similar society Southey Southey's spirit story suggested Thalaba theme things Thomas thoughts University Press verse virtue vision vols whole Wordsworth's writing