This rereading of Wordworth's The Prelude, in light of post-structuralist and feminist theory, is the first study of the poem from both a Wordsworthian and feminist viewpoint. Through close examination of Romantic autobiography, theatrical politics, and history Jacobus discusses Romantic attitudes towards language, figuration, and voice, analyzing the role of gender in Romantic self-expression and pedagogy. She considers different aspects of the high Romanticism exemplified byThe Prelude, and explores the writing of Burke, Rousseau, Hazlitt, Lamb, and De Quincey in relation to literary influence, New Historicism, and the gender-related aspects of Romantic criticism.
'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 wiuthout 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.'
Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Modern Philology 'This tour de force is not so much a book as a collection of position-papers: it is less about Wordsworth than about how he is read in the academy. It is a tour de force in that the reader has the sense of the author performing a series of circus turns - juggling and trapeze acts undertaken in rapid succession by the Deconstructionist, the New Historicist, the Freudian, the Feminist.'
Jonathan Bate, University of Liverpool, Review of English Studies, Vol. 43, 9/92 'the essays included in Romanticism, Writing, and Sexual Difference were written over a period of ten years or so, their tenacious concern with decoding 'Wordsworth', against the grain of his own devices, gives this volume an impressive cohesiveness and persuasiveness'
Modern Language Review, Vol. 87, Part 2