The Romantic Book
This course makes the book itself an object of interpretation and a means for understanding Romantic Poetry and Poetics. Rather than surveying a few poems by many writers, we will read 6-7 writers in depth. We will read them, furthermore, in the exact forms in which they were read by their peers, paying particular attention to how poems within specific collections speak to one another and deepen each other's meaning. In addition to reading the collections, we will thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the careers of each writer we read, with how their books were produced and reviewed, and with the contexts into which each book ventured into the world. I plan to choose the primary texts for the course from the books below, and invite students to make known to me if they have any preferences for what we read: Anna Letitia Barbauld, Poems (1773); Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets (1784); Helen Maria Williams Poems (1786); Robert Burns, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786); William Lisle Bowles, Fourteen Sonnets (1789); Poetry of the World (1790); William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience (1789, 1794); Joanna Baillie, Plays on the Passions (1798); William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, with a few other Poems (1800); Mary Robinson, Lyrical Tales (1800); William Blake, Milton (1804); Charlotte Smith, Beachy-Head, and other Poems (1804); William Wordsworth, Poems, in Two Volumes (1807); Lord Byron, The Giaour (1813); Lord Byron, The Prisoner of Chillon and other Poems (1816); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel, Kubla Khan, and the Pains of Sleep (1816); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818); Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound and other Poems (1820); John Keats, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems (1820); Percy Shelley, Posthumous Poems (1824); Felicia Hemans, Records of Woman (1828). There will be some responses, a presentation and paper attached to it, and a final essay.Course will meet in Weigle Seminar Room 402 in VPL.