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York Notes Companions : Romantic Literature - John Gilroy

York Notes Companions

Romantic Literature

By: John Gilroy (Contribution by)

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The York Notes Companion to Romantic Literature is a comprehensive introduction to the literature of an era steeped in the politics of revolution and reaction. Examining the works of first and second generation poets such as Wordsworth, Blake, Byron and Shelley alongside drama, fiction and travel writing, the Companion explores the central themes of imagination, truth and reason, heroes and anti-heroes, faith and myth, offering close readings of texts, and guiding students through key literary theories and debates. Connecting texts with their historical and scholarly contexts, this is essential reading for any student of romantic literature.

Each York Notes Companion provides:

  • Analysis of key texts and debates
  • Extended commentaries for further in-depth analysis of individual texts
  • Exploration of historical, social and cultural contexts
  • Annotations clarifying literary terms and events in history
  • Modern theoretical perspectives in practice
  • Timelines and annotated further reading.

John Gilroy is a lecturer in English at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and lectures for the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.

"The writing is easy to read and comprehend yet manages to cram in sufficient detail... It covers topic areas very well in terms of different types of Romantic literature."

- Kimberley Simpson, English Student, Warwick University

Part One: Introduction


Part Two: A Cultural Overview


Part Three: Texts, Writers and Contexts


Writing in Revolution: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and William Wordsworth

            Extended commentary: Wordsworth, The Prelude (1850), Book IX, lines 436–           504


Revolution, Reaction and the Natural World: Wordsworth and Coleridge, John Clare and William Blake

            Extended commentary: Blake, ‘The Tyger’ from Songs of Experience (1793)


Dramatic writing: Horace Walpole, Robert Southey and Lord Byron

Extended commentary: Walpole, The Mysterious Mother (1768), V.i.312–420


Romantic Verse Narratives: John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Extended commentary: ‘The Rime of the Ancyent Mariner’ (1817), lines 1–40 and 610–17


Romantic Fiction: James Hogg, Thomas Love Peacock and Jane Austen

            Extended commentary: Austen, Persuasion (1816), Chapter 23


Romantic Travel Writing: William Beckford, Lord Byron and Mary Wollstonecraft

Extended commentary: Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796), Letters 16 and 17


Part Four: Critical Theories and Debates 

Imagination, Truth and Reason

Faith, Myth and Doubt

Heroes and Ant-Heroes

Forms of Ruin



Part Five: References and resources



Further reading



ISBN: 9781408204795
ISBN-10: 1408204797
Series: York Notes Companions
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 15th June 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.6  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: Annotated