Romantic Writings

Dianna Gilroy
English Department, Heavilon Hall
Purdue University

This course in British Romanticism has been designed to reflect the growing diversity of
scholarly interests in the field.  The term "Romantic movement" has been used in the past
as a generalized way of claiming coherence for a vast range of cultural practices; we, however,
will restrict ourselves to using "Romantic writings," with the particular aim of reading the texts
in relation to the history within which they were produced.  We will think about how we
might reconceptualize Romanticism as we examine formerly excluded or marginalized texts in
relation both to the works of the canonical poets and to the wider public discourse of the era.
In our exploration of these writings, we will give careful consideration to issues of gender, genre,
class, and ideology.

Online resources

Oxford English Dictionary

Online Writing Lab


Week 1

Introduction: Romanticism in/as Process

Make yourself familiar with all of the links under Online Resources, above

Romantic points of view:

William Wordsworth, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, 3 September 1803”
William Blake, “London”    View plate
Mary Robinson, “London’s Summer Morning”

The Romantic child:

William Blake, from Songs of Innocence and of Experience:
"The Lamb," "The Chimney Sweeper I," "Nurse's Song I," "The Tyger,"
"The Chimney Sweeper II," "Nurse's Song II"   View plates

Week 2

The New Child: British Art and the Origins of Modern Childhood, 1730-1830
Read the Introduction and the materials located at these links:
The Age of Innocence; The Child Learns; Children, Class, and Countryside;
The Family and Sentiment

Amelia Alderson Opie, "The Orphan Boy's Tale"
Jane Taylor, "The Star," "A Pair"

William Wordsworth, from Lyrical Ballads: "We Are Seven," "There Was a Boy"
Mary Robinson, from Lyrical Tales: "All Alone," "The Alien Boy"

The Culture of Sensibility:

A Dictionary of Sensibility
Under term list, read the definitions for virtue, landscape, animals, sense, sympathy,
sublime, fear/terror/horror, imagination, melancholy/madness, taste (and any others
that might interest you or suggest a paper topic).

Charlotte Smith, Sonnet XXI. Supposed to be Written by Werther;
Sonnet XXII. By the Same. To Solitude; Sonnet XXIII. By the Same. To the North Star;
Sonnet XXIV. By the Same; Sonnet XXV. By the Same. Just before his Death.

Week 3

Adam Smith, from The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Helen Maria Williams, "To Sensibility"
Hannah More, from Sensibility
Anna Letitia Barbauld, "To a Lady, with Some Painted Flowers"

The French Revolution and the Rights of Man:

Use the Chronology of the French Revolution from Romantic Chronology to
make yourself familiar with the main events of the revolution
(under "Topics Catalogue" select "French Revolution")
Edmund Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France
Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Men
Thomas Paine, from The Rights of Man

James Parkinson, from An Address to the Hon. Edmund Burke from the Swinish Multitude
Helen Maria Williams, from Letters from France, Books I & III

Week 4

The Rights of Woman:

Some Stereotypical Views of Women (Laura Mandell)
Mary Hays, from Appeal to the Men of Great Britain in Behalf Of Women
Mary Lamb, "On Needle-Work"

Richard Polwhele's The "Unsex'd Females" Hypertext
Mary Wollstonecraft, from Vindication of the Rights of Woman

On Slavery:

Robert Southey, "The Sailor, Who Had Served in the Slave Trade"
William Wilberforce, from A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade
Anna Letitia Barbauld, Epistle to William Wilberforce

Week 5

Hannah More, Slavery, a Poem

Theory and the Role of the Poet:

Joanna Baillie, from Introductory Discourse to A Series of Plays
William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads

Preface to Lyrical Ballads cont'd
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria, chpts.

Week 6

Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry

Case Studies: Ann Cromarty Yearsley and William Wordsworth as Romantic Poets

Ann Cromarty Yearsley, "Night: To Stella," "To Mr. R--"
William Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence"

The Sublime, the Beautiful, and the Picturesque:

Edmund Burke, from A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the
Sublime and Beautiful
William Gilpin, from Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty; On Picturesque Travel;
and on Sketching Landscape

Examples of the Picturesque in J. M. W. Turner's early works:
 Buttermere Lake       The Passage of the St. Gothard       Dolbadern Castle

Wordsworth, "The Ruined Cottage"

Week 7

Charlotte Smith, "Beachy Head"

William Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey"
Begin The Prelude, Book I

The Prelude, Book I, cont'd
The Prelude, from Book VI [Alpine tour and crossing]

Week 8

Letitia Elizabeth Landon, "Sappho's Song," "The Proud Ladye," "Love's Last Lesson"

The "Material Sublime":

Joanna Baillie, "A Winter's Day," "A Summer's Day"

Can the "Swinish Multitude" Speak?

Hanna More, "The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain," from Cheap Repository Tracts
William Cobbett, from The Poor Man's Friend, from Rural Rides
Thomas Robert Malthus, from An Essay on the Principle of Population

Week 9

Dorothy Wordsworth, from Grasmere Journals
William Wordsworth, "The Cumberland Beggar"

Imperial anxieties:

Thomas De Quincey, from Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan"
Anna Seward, "Sonnet: To the Poppy"
Henrietta O'Neill, "Ode to the Poppy"

Week 10

The Romance in Romanticism:

Clara Reeve, from The Progress of Romance

A Hypertext Transmission History of Christabel
Read the materials at these links:  1800; Charles Lamb; The Wordsworths; Walter Scott;
William Hazlitt; Lord Byron; Christabel, 1816 Text

Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto VI

Felicia Hemans, from The Siege of Valencia

Week 11

John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes

Lyric and Ode:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"
William Wordsworth, the "Lucy Poems": "Strange Fits of Passion I Have Known,"
"She Dwelt Among th' Untrodden Ways," "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal"

William Wordsworth, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of
Early Childhood"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Dejection: An Ode"

Week 12

Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind"
John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Melancholy"

Political poets:

Anna Letitia Barbauld, "Lines Written on Marble"
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"

Begin Barbauld's Eighteen Hundred and Eleven

Barbauld, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, cont'd
Shelley, "The Mask of Anarchy," "Song to the Men of England"
George Gordon, Lord Byron, from Parliamentary Speeches in the House of Lords
[on the Frame Bill]

Week 13

The Horrors and Wonders of Industrialization:

Anna Seward, "Colebrook Dale"
Anna Letitia Barbauld, "Inscription for an Ice-House"
Letitia Elizabeth Landon, "The Factory"

The Byronic Hero:

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, from Cantos I & II

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan, begin Canto I

Week 14

Byron, Don Juan, Canto I cont'd

Romantic Allegory:

William Blake, Visions of the Daughter of Albion
View  selected plates from Visions

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Week 15

Presentations of Web projects

Presentations of Web projects

Final paper due