Robert Southey and the Contexts of English Romanticism

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  • Edited by Lynda Pratt, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Series: The Nineteenth Century Series
  • Lynda Pratt's collection of specially commissioned essays is the first edited volume devoted to the multiple connections between Robert Southey (1774-1843) and English Romantic culture. A major and highly controversial personage in his own day, Southey has until recently been the forgotten member of the Lake School.

    Demonstrating the eclecticism of Southey's writing and the diversity of his interactions with his contemporaries, the contributors map the intersections of Southey's life and work with English culture, politics, and history, and explore his significance for the construction of Romantic and early Victorian ideologies of empire. Taken together, the essays demonstrate that Southey's importance lies not only in his own writings but in his unique ability to complicate and reconfigure traditional versions of English Romanticism and national literary history. This timely and important volume takes Southey scholarship in new directions and furthers ongoing debates about English Romanticism. As such, it is an essential resource for literary scholars, historians, and social scientists working on nineteenth-century literature and culture.
  • Contents: Introduction: Robert Southey and the contexts of English romanticism, Lynda Pratt; Southey's literary history, David Fairer; Love and madness: Southey editing Chatterton, Nick Groom; Beneath high romanticism: Southeian orientations in De Quincey, Daniel Sanjiv Roberts; Feasts and fasts: Southey and the politics of calendar, Paul Jarman; Poemets and poemlings: Southey's minority interest, Nicola Trott; 'Bob Southey! - poet Laureate': public and private in Southey's poems of 1816, Mark Storey; Subservient talents? Robert Southey as a public moralist, David M. Craig; 'Green Savannahs' or 'savage lands': Wordsworth's and Southey's romantic America, Carol Bolton; Southey's Madoc: reimagining the conquest of America, Nigel Leask; Conquest and slavery in Robert Southey's Madoc and James Montgomery's The West Indies, Joselyn M. Almeida; Words and things: Southey's east and the materiality of oriental discourse, Diego Saglia; Plants, pagodas and penises: Southey's oriental imports, Tim Fulford; His nights among the dead were past: Robert Southey's dreams, W.A. Speck; Family Misfortunes? The posthumous editing of Robert Southey, Lynda Pratt; Bibilography; Index.
  • About the Editor: Lynda Pratt is Reader in Romanticism and Director of the Centre for Regional Cultures in the School of English, University of Nottingham, UK.
  • Reviews: 'This sparkling volume of essays will restore Southey to his proper place as one of the three Lake Poets. Too often passed over in favour of Wordsworth and Coleridge, he was, as the contributors to the volume so convincingly demonstrate, in important ways more central to the literature of the period than either.'
    Professor Richard Cronin, University of Glasgow, UK

    ‘Considered together, the essays do the significant job of demonstrating [Southey's] importance in literary history and his unique approach to English Romanticism.’ Brontë Studies

    ‘As a thorough and wide-ranging examination of Southey's influence, Robert Southey and the Contexts of English Romanticism has the added virtue of an excellent introduction… Readers unfamiliar with Southey's writings will appreciate this attention to details that are too often omitted in current forms of literary criticism… All of the essays [...] offer interesting and rewarding insights and, in general, make an effective case for devoting more critical attention to Southey as a major Romantic figure. Overall, this is a valuable addition to Southey and Romanticism studies…’ Journal of British Studies