The subject of Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning could not be timelier with Zizek’s recent proclamation that we are ’living in the end times’ and in an era which is preoccupied with the process and consequences of ageing. We mourn both for our pasts and futures as we now recognise that history is a continuation and record of loss. Mark Sandy explores the treatment of grief, loss, and death across a variety of Romantic poetic forms, including the ballad, sonnet, epic, elegy, fragment, romance, and ode in the works of poets as diverse as Smith, Hemans, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Clare. Romantic meditations on grief, however varied in form and content, are self-consciously aware of the complexity and strength of feelings surrounding the consolation or disconsolation that their structures of poetic memory afford those who survive the imaginary and actual dead. Romantic mourning, Sandy shows, finds expression in disparate poetic forms, and how it manifests itself both as the spirit of its age, rooted in precise historical conditions, and as a proleptic power, of lasting transhistorical significance. Romantic meditations on grief and loss speak to our contemporary anxieties about the inevitable, but unthinkable, event of death itself.
Mark Sandy is Senior Lecturer in English at Durham University, UK. He has recently co-edited a volume on Venice and the Cultural Imagination (2012).
"Mark Sandy’s impressive new study engages rewardingly with Romantic forms of grief in major writers from William Blake to W. B. Yeats. While Sandy’s close readings are alert and sharply observed, his book will also be welcomed for its fresh perspectives on how the Romantics’ bequests of mourning communicated to their Victorian successors. John Keats’s haunted word "Forlorn..." echoes across every page." - Nicholas Roe, University of St. Andrews, UK
"Through his rigorous readings, Sandy shows that Romantic poetry is at once interlaced with quixotic dreams of harmony and unity and mournful realizations of loss and mortality, a complicated interplay of conflicting dynamics that profoundly influenced the Victorians and modern consciousness.’ Review of English Studies ’Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning brings together themes which pervade Romantic poetry and scholarship, and in so doing, will appeal to a wide range of academic readership, from literary specialists to students of nineteenth-century culture and philosophy." - Centre for Medical Humanities
"A beautifully written, critically attuned, and engaging work is Mark Sandy’s Romanticism, Memory and Mourning.' Year's Work in English Studies 'In Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning, Mark Sandy skillfully explores the fraught Romantic engagement with ’the inconceivable and unspeakable event of death’ (p. 1) through a poetry of grief and loss ... His meticulous engagement with the representation of death, mourning, and loss across genres as disparate as the ballad, the sonnet, the epic, the romance, and the ode (a list by no means complete), is complemented by the diverse range of poets he situates his discussions in ... The impressive scope of the project does not come at the expense of depth, and Sandy’s insightful close readings offer fresh perspectives on often familiar Romantic texts."