A re-reading of The Prelude in the light of poststructuralist and feminist theory, this highly praised work is the first major study of the poem by an author distinguished as both Wordsworthian and feminist critic. Beginning with Romantic autobiography, theatrical politics, and history, the book moves by way of Romantic attitudes to language, figuration and voice to consider the role of gender in Romantic self-representation and pedagogy. Besides investigating different aspects of the high Romanticism exemplified by The prelude, individual chapters explore writing by Burke, Rousseau, Hazlitt, Lamb, and De Quincey, while engaging with topics such as literary influence, New Historicism, or the gender-related aspects of Romantic criticism. Romanticism, Writing, and Sexual Difference is an important contribution not only to Wordsworth studies, but to current theoretical debates on both sides of the Atlantic as they bear on the history and politics (including sexual politics) of Romanticism itself.
'given that we are at a breaking point in "romantic" studies, it is difficult to know how to give a book like this the kind of praise it deserves without returning to those very "Romantic" tropes which are put at risk by the book itself. Readers interested in Romanticism, writing, or sexual difference will simply have to read the book for themselves to determine how best to rearticulate the terms of praise.' Modern Philology 'a lively and stimulating book' Times Higher Education Supplement.
`lively and stimulating book' Times Literary Supplement