Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History (Hardback)
  • Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History (Hardback)
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Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History (Hardback)

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£55.00
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 27/07/2017
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Madness and the Romantic Poet examines the longstanding and enduringly popular idea that poetry is connected to madness and mental illness. The idea goes back to classical antiquity, but it was given new life at the turn of the nineteenth century. The book offers a new and much more complete history of its development than has previously been attempted, alongside important associated ideas about individual genius, creativity, the emotions, rationality, and the mind in extreme states or disorder - ideas that have been pervasive in modern popular culture. More specifically, the book tells the story of the initial growth and wider dissemination of the idea of the 'Romantic mad poet' in the nineteenth century, how (and why) this idea became so popular, and how it interacted with the very different fortunes in reception and reputation of Romantic poets, their poetry, and attacks on or defences of Romanticism as a cultural trend generally - again leaving a popular legacy that endured into the twentieth century. Material covered includes nineteenth-century journalism, early literary criticism, biography, medical and psychiatric literature, and poetry. A wide range of scientific (and pseudoscientific) thinkers are discussed alongside major Romantic authors, including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Hazlitt, Lamb, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Keats, Byron, and John Clare. Using this array of sources and figures, the book asks: was the Romantic mad genius just a sentimental stereotype or a romantic myth? Or does its long popularity tell us something serious about Romanticism and the role it has played, or has been given, in modern culture?

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198733706
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 632 g
Dimensions: 240 x 174 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This text is rich with a wealth of research from primary sources, secondary analyses and literary criticism. It is particularly deft in its dialogue with the work of Foucault and a variety of other notable scholars in the field. ... In its mission to examine how the mythology of madness coalesced around the British Romantics, this text does a smart painstaking job of debunking and re-contextualizing, and should be incredibly useful to specialized scholars interested in the topic. * Jessica C Hume, The British Society for Literature and Science *
[A] learned and wide ranging monograph ... [it succeeds] in an innovative and comprehensive way ... an enormous achievement in terms of the collocation, analysis and discussion of a wide range of diverse texts, both primary and secondary ... Undoubtedly, it deserves to be well received. * Review of English Studies *

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