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Romantic Interactions

Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action

Susan J. Wolfson

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In Romantic Interactions, Susan J. Wolfson examines how interaction with other authors—whether on the bookshelf, in the embodied company of someone else writing, or in relation to literary celebrity—shaped the work of some of the best-known (and less well-known) writers in the English language.

Working across the arc of Long Romanticism, from the 1780s to the 1840s, this lively study involves writing by women and men, in poetry and prose. Combining careful readings with sophisticated literary, historical, and cultural criticism, Wolfson reveals how various writers came to define themselves as…

In Romantic Interactions, Susan J. Wolfson examines how interaction with other authors—whether on the bookshelf, in the embodied company of someone else writing, or in relation to literary celebrity—shaped the work of some of the best-known (and less well-known) writers in the English language.

Working across the arc of Long Romanticism, from the 1780s to the 1840s, this lively study involves writing by women and men, in poetry and prose. Combining careful readings with sophisticated literary, historical, and cultural criticism, Wolfson reveals how various writers came to define themselves as "author." The story unfolds not only in deft textual analyses but also by provocatively placing writers in dialogue with what they were reading, with one another, and with the community of readers (and writers) their writings helped bring into being: Mary Wollstonecraft and Charlotte Smith in the Revolution-roiled 1790s; William Wordsworth and Dorothy Wordsworth in the society of the Lake District; Lord Byron, a magnet for writers everywhere, inspired, troubled, but always arrested by what he (and his scandal-ridden celebrity) represented.

This fresh, informative account of key writers, important texts, and complex cultural currents promises keen interest for students and scholars, literary critics, and cultural historians.

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Romantic Interactions

Susan J. Wolfson

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Reviews

Reviews

Wolfson employs historicizing criticism to study the relationship between Romantic authors' subjective agency and social connections.

A study of authors reading authors. It is, as Wolfson argues, a 'work of historicizing criticism'... Magnificent readings of texts familiar and unfamiliar.

In all, Romantic Interactions is a formidable book that creates and traverses an extensive and exciting critical terrain... Readers will be energized by Wolfson's fresh take on major Romantic figures, as well as by her innovative paradigm for reading authorial self-consciousness.

Exemplary.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
400
ISBN
9780801894749
Illustration Description
15 halftones
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Note on Texts
Introduction: "The will of a social being"
I. Two Women & Poetic Tradition
1. Charlotte Smith's Emigrants and the Politics of

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Note on Texts
Introduction: "The will of a social being"
I. Two Women & Poetic Tradition
1. Charlotte Smith's Emigrants and the Politics of Allusion
2. Mary Wollstonecraft: Re:Reading the Poets
3. The Poets' "Wollstonecraft"
II. Gender Interactions, Generative Interactions: Two Wordsworths
4. Lyrical Ballads and the Pregnant Words of Men's Passions
5. William's Sister: Alternatives of Alter Ego
6. Dorothy's Conversation with William
III. A Public Attraction
7. Gazing on "Byron": Separation and Fascination
8. Byron and the Muse of Female Poetry
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Susan J. Wolfson, Ph.D.

Susan J. Wolfson is a professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of Reading John Keats and Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action.