Gathered together for the first time, the essays in this volume were selected to give scholars ready access to important late-twentieth and early twenty-first-century contributions to scholarship on the Romantic period and twentieth-century literature and culture. Included are Charles J. Rzepka's award-winning essays on Keats's 'Chapman's Homer' sonnet and Wordsworth's 'Michael' and his critical intervention into anachronistic new historicist readings of the circumstances surrounding the composition of "Tintern Abbey." Other Romantic period essays provide innovative interpretations of De Quincey's relation to theatre and the anti-slavery movement. Genre is highlighted in Rzepka's exploration of race and region in Charlie Chan, while his interdisciplinary essay on The Wizard of Oz and the New Woman takes the reader on a journey that encompasses the Oz of L. Frank Baum and Victor Fleming as well as the professional lives of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. Taken together, the essays provide not only a career retrospective of an influential scholar and teacher but also a map of the innovations and controversies that have influenced literary studies from the early 1980s to the present. As Peter Manning observes in his foreword, "this collection shows that even in diverse essays the force of a curious and disciplined mind makes itself felt."
Charles J. Rzepka is professor of English at Boston University, USA
'It is a testament to the achievements of all three scholars that Rzepka’s occasional dialogue with their interpretations produces these wonderfully enlightening interventions and excellent documentation of the inventiveness of Rzepka’s mind.' Studies in Romanticism '... [Rzepka offers a] high level of integrity, literary sensitivity, historical thoroughness, and engaging eloquence...' The Wordsworth Circle