The "(re)turn to history" in Romantic Studies in the 1980s marked the beginning of a critical orthodoxy that continues to condition, if not define, our sense of the Romantic period twenty-five years on. Romantic New Historicism’s revisionary engagements have played a central role in the realignment of the field and in the expansion of the Romantic canon. In this major new collection of eleven essays, critics reflect on New Historicism’s inheritance, its achievements and its limitations. Integrating a self-reflexive engagement with New Historicism’s "history" and detailed attention to a range of Romantic lives and literary texts, the collection offers a close-up view of Romanticism’s hybrid present, and a dynamic vision of its future.
Preface: "A Poem Should be Equal To: / Not True" Alan Liu Introduction: Reflections on an Orthodoxy Damian Walford Davies 1. The Incommensurable Value of Historicism Tim Milnes 2. The Hair of Milton: Historicism and Literary History Erik Gray 3. "In Embalmèd Darkness": Keats, the Picturesque, and the Limits of Historicization Kelly Grovier 4. Telling Lives to Children: Young versus New Historicism in Little Arthur’s History of England Michael Simpson 5. Whose History? My Place or Yours? Republican Assumptions and Romantic Traditions Kenneth R. Johnston 6. Overlooking History: The Case of John Thelwall Judith Thompson 7. Byron’s Cain and the "History" of Cradle Songs Damian Walford Davies 8. Romanticism, Feminism, History, Historicism: A Conversation Anne K. Mellor and Susan J. Wolfson 9. Romanticism and the Feminist Uses of History Gary Kelly 10. New Historicism, New Austen, New Romanticism Robert Miles 11. Leigh Hunt and Romantic Biography Nicholas Roe