The Unfamiliar Shelley: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Unfamiliar Shelley

1st Edition

By Timothy Webb

Edited by Alan M. Weinberg


390 pages

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Hardback: 9780754663904
pub: 2009-01-28
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Stimulated by new editions of Shelley's writings and the evidence of notebooks, the editors have assembled an outstanding group of international Shelley scholars to work through the implications of recent advances in scholarship. With particular attention to texts that have been neglected or underestimated, the contributors consider many important aspects of Shelley's prolific and remarkably diverse output, including the verse letter, plays, prose essays, satire, pamphlets, political verse, romance, prefaces, translations from the Greek, prose style, artistic representations, fragments and early writings. Revaluations of Shelley's youthful works, often criticized for their over-exuberance, pay dividends as they reveal Shelley's early maturation as a writer and also shed light on his later achievement. Taken as a whole, the collection makes evident that Shelley's reputation has been based largely on surprisingly imperfect and incomplete edited publications, driven by Victorian taste and culture. A writer very different from the one we thought we knew emerges from these essays, which are sure to inspire more reappraisals of Shelley's work.


’…This sizable collation, from an international cast of scholars, gives Shelley the systematic, archival ventilation received in abundance by William Wordsworth…The riches range from new arguments…to intriguing local details…Shelley studies are well positioned to conjure new theoretical models out of this work…Highly recommended.’ Choice ’… readers of Shelley can be thankful both for the excellence of the essays in this book and the energy that impels them.’ New Books on Literature-19 'The Unfamiliar Shelley demonstrate[s] that it is not only Shelley’s major, well-known poems and prose statements such as Adonais, Prometheus Unbound, and A Defence of Poetry which embody the complex synthesis on compressed and reflexive imagery, multiple meanings, and distinct but deliberately interwoven psychological perspectives that has lent Shelley’s verse its well-deserved reputation for formidable complexity and unparalleled craftsmanship. The less-frequented byways of his work exemplify these same signature traits. Explicating a poem or essay by any other major Romantic poets - indeed, by any other poet regardless of his or her era - seems like child’s play by comparison.' European Legacy

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Timothy Webb and Alan M. Weinberg. Poetry: Reading as flight: fragment poems from Shelley's notebooks, Michael Bradshaw; 'The casket of my unknown mind': the 1813 volume of minor poems, David Duff; Happily ever after? The necessity of fairytale in Queen Mab, Christopher R. Miller; Laon and the hermit: connection and succession, Jack Donovan; 'Peter Bell the Third', contempt and poetic transfiguration, Stephen C. Behrendt; Scratching at the door of absence: writing and reading 'Letter to Maria Gisborne', Timothy Webb; Shelley's Neapolitan-Tuscan poetics: 'Sonnet: Political Greatness' and the 'Republic' of Benevento, Michael Rossington. Art: Shelleyan inspiration and the sister arts, Nancy Moore Goslee. Prose: Noises on: the communicative strategies of Shelley's Prefaces, Hugh Roberts; Contemplating facts, studying ourselves: aspects of Shelley's philosophical and religious prose, Merle A. Williams; A place to stand: questions of address in Shelley's political pamphlets, Martin Priestman; Emulating Plato: Shelley as translator and prose poet, Michael O'Neill; 'These catchers of men': imposture and its unmasking in 'A Philosophical View of Reform', Alan M. Weinberg. Drama: Porcine poetics: Shelley's Swellfoot the Tyrant, Timothy Morton; Shelley's late fragmentary plays: 'Charles the First' and the 'Unfinished Drama', Nora Crook; Afterword: Tracking Shelley, Donald H. Reiman; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Alan M. Weinberg is Professor of English Studies at the University of South Africa, RSA. Timothy Webb is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, UK where, until recently, he was Winterstoke Professor.

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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