Thomas De Quincey : New Theoretical and Critical Directions book cover
1st Edition

Thomas De Quincey
New Theoretical and Critical Directions

ISBN 9780415876681
Published November 23, 2009 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

The ongoing critical fascination with Thomas De Quincey and the burgeoning recognition of the centrality of his writings to the Romantic age and beyond necessitates a critical examination of De Quincey. In this spirit, ten of the top De Quincey scholars in the world have come together in this volume to engage directly with the immense amount of new information to be published on De Quincey in the past two decades. The book features wide-ranging and incisive assessments of De Quincey as essayist, addict, economist, subversive, biographer, autobiographer, aesthete, innovator, hedonist, and much else.

Table of Contents

1 ‘I was Worshipped; I was Sacrificed’: A Passage to Thomas De Quincey

Robert Morrison and Daniel Sanjiv Roberts

2 ‘Mix(ing) a little with Alien Natures’: Biblical Orientalism in De Quincey

Daniel Sanjiv Roberts

3 Brunonianism, Radicalism, and ‘The Pleasures of Opium’

Barry Milligan

4 ‘Earthquake and Eclipse’: Radical Energies and De Quincey’s 1821 Confessions

Robert Morrison

5 De Quincey and Men (of Letters)

John Whale

6 Wooing the Reader: De Quincey, Wordsworth and Women in Tait’s Edinburgh


Julian North

7 De Quincey and the Secret Life of Books

Josephine McDonagh

8 National Bad Habits: Thomas De Quincey’s Geography of Addiction

Joel Black

9 On the Language of the Sublime and the Sublime Nation in De Quincey: Toward a

Reading of ‘The English Mail-Coach’

Ian Balfour

10 Chambers of Horror: De Quincey’s ‘Postscript’ to ‘On Murder Considered as

One of the Fine Arts’

Gregory Dart

11 ‘A Deafening Menace in Tempestuous Uproars’: De Quincey’s 1856 Confessions,

the Indian Mutiny, and the Response of Collins and Dickens

Charles Rzepka

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"Morrison and Roberts's writing is lively, lucid, learned, and free of jargon. The 11 chapters offer fresh perspectives on De Quincey's often deplorable influence on Western view of the Orient...Although the authors consistently deplore de Quincey's 'Tory prejudices,' they are acutely aware that they are dealing with a long-neglected genius whose contributions to English literature have yet to be fully appreciated." --N. Fruman, Choice, May 2008

"The essays in this excellent volume show that we have only begun to assess the subtle intra- and intertextual valence of De Quincey’s texts." -Joel Faflak, Byron Journal

"The overarching theme of these diverse essays is ambiguity. De Quincey is once more shown to be more complex than critics for a long time allowed him to be. It is a volume which should be on the shelf of every De Quincey scholar." -Markus Iseli, Romanticism

"What makes these essays so interesting is the unexpectedly complex nature of the tribute they pay[….] One unexpected result of this splendid collection of essays is that it sends its reader back not just to the twenty-one volumes of Lindop's splendid edition, but to all those periodicals, some of them still hard to access, from which Lindop gathered his material." -Richard Cronin, University of Glasgow,BARS Bulletin and Review