Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era

1st Edition

By Andrew Radford

Edited by Mark Sandy


256 pages

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In tracing those deliberate and accidental Romantic echoes that reverberate through the Victorian age into the beginning of the twentieth century, this collection acknowledges that the Victorians decided for themselves how to define what is 'Romantic'. The essays explore the extent to which Victorianism can be distinguished from its Romantic precursors, or whether it is possible to conceive of Romanticism without the influence of these Victorian definitions. Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era reassesses Romantic literature's immediate cultural and literary legacy in the late nineteenth century, showing how the Victorian writings of Matthew Arnold, Wilkie Collins, the Brontës, the Brownings, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy, and the Rossettis were instrumental in shaping Romanticism as a cultural phenomenon. Many of these Victorian writers found in the biographical, literary, and historical models of Chatterton, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth touchstones for reappraising their own creative potential and artistic identity. Whether the Victorians affirmed or revolted against the Romanticism of their early years, their attitudes towards Romantic values enriched and intensified the personal, creative, and social dilemmas described in their art. Taken together, the essays in this collection reflect on current critical dialogues about literary periodisation and contribute to our understanding of how these contemporary debates stem from Romanticism's inception in the Victorian age.


'This excellent and timely collection brings together prominent scholars of Romantic and Victorian culture to challenge and enrich our understanding of both. Ranging across biography, poetry, the novel, visual art and more, the volume offers a rich and varied picture of Romanticism's powerful and pervasive presence throughout the Victorian period. With a great deal to offer Romanticists and Victorianists alike, Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era significantly enhances our view of the ideological and aesthetic dynamics of nineteenth-century British culture'. Alan Rawes, University of Manchester, UK ’So, this is a book that distinctively reworks and deepens our understanding of the interrelations of the Romantic and Victorian periods. As a collection it will remain of great interest to scholars of both periods, as well as offering an accomplished model of critical writing that works on a case basis to illuminate, often with verve and imagination, the larger historical, cultural, and literary issues associated with the long nineteenth century.’ Journal of British Studies ’Taken together, the essays collected here highlight the diverse influence of Romanticism on Victorian authors and audiences, adding usefully to existing scholarship in the field. This volume offers fresh insights that productively reshape critical notions of influence through close intertextual readings.’ Keats-Shelley Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: romanticism and the Victorians, Andrew Radford and Mark Sandy; A finer tone: Victorian lives of Mrs Barbauld and Mrs Shelley, Lisa Vargo; 'Wandering between 2 worlds': the Victorian afterlife of Thomas Chatterton, Julie Crane; Dead Keats: Joseph Severn, John Keats, and the haunting of Victorian culture, Andrew Bennett; 'The wind blows cold out of the inner shrine of fear': Rossetti's romantic Keats, Sarah Wootton; Rival cultures: Charles Dickens and the Byronic legacy, Vincent Newey; 'Mr Osborne's secret': Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters, and the gender of romanticism, James Najarian; 'Fallen angels': Hardy's Shelleyan critique in the final Wessex novels, Andrew Radford; Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Victorian versions of Byron and Wollstonecraft: romantic genealogies, self-defining memories, and the genesis of Aurora Leigh, Marjorie Stone; Wordsworth, Hopkins, and the intercession of angels, J.R. Watson; 'Echoes of that voice': romantic resonances in Victorian poetic birdsong, Mark Sandy; 'Infinite Passion': variations on a romantic topic in Robert Browning, Emily Brontë, Swinburne, Hopkins, Wilde and Dowson, Michael O'Neill; Liberating boyhood, Ve-YinTee; Prometheus rebound: the romantic titan in a post-romantic age, John Holmes; Selected bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Andrew Radford is Lecturer in the Department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, UK and Mark Sandy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, UK.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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