Focusing on key members of the Pisan Circle, Byron, the Shelleys, and Leigh Hunt, Maria Schoina explores configurations of identity and the acculturating practices of British expatriates in post-Napoleonic Italy. The problems involved in British Romanticism's relations to its European 'others' are her point of departure, as she argues that the emergence and mission of what Mary Shelley termed the 'Anglo-Italian' is inextricably linked to the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions of the age: the forging of the British identity in the midst of an expanding empire, the rise of the English middle class and the establishment of a competitive print culture, and the envisioning, by a group of male and female Romantic liberal intellectuals, of social and political reform. Schoina's emphasis on the political implications of the British Romantics' hyphenated self-representation results in fresh readings of the Pisan Circle's Italianate writings that move them away from interpretations focused on a purely aesthetic or poetic attachment to Italy to uncover their complex ideological underpinnings. Recognizing that Mary Shelley was instrumental in conceptualizing the Romantics' discourse of acculturation expands our understanding of this phenomenon, as does Schoina's convincing case for the importance of gender as a major determinant of Mary Shelley's construction of Anglo-Italianness.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Roots, routes and hyphens: reconsidering romantic identity; Anglo-Italian spaces and metaphors in the cultural discourse of the late 18th and early 19th century; Mary Shelly, Anglo-Italicus; 'My heart is all meridian': Byron's poetics of acculturation; Rooting the Anglo-Italian: place and identity in the Pisan circle; Epilogue: (post)romantic reflections on acculturation; Bibliography; Index
'In her innovative and energizing study, Maria Schoina offers a compelling account of Romantic identity in relation to "Anglo-Italians" such as Hunt, Byron, and the Shelleys. Combining a "cultural-geographical approach" with literary insights, this book represents interdisciplinary work of a very high order.' Michael O'Neill, Durham University, UK 'Romantic 'Anglo-Italians' commendably tries fresh ways to tell a well-known tale... a provocative contribution to the study of Romantic transnational and cultural networks.' Sharp News 'Maria Schoina's Romantic 'Anglo-Italians' [...] offers a timely and subtly argued consideration of the later Romantic poets' engagement with questions of place and identity.' Year's Work in English Studies 'In this penetrating study of configurations of identity of some of the important British expatriates in post Napoleonic Italy, Dr Schoina ably demonstrates how the concept of the Anglo-Italian, as Mary Shelley defined it, was linked to the social economic and cultural conditions of the age.' Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies 'It is thanks to its undeterred attention to the many expressions of this process of semantic revision that this study offers some essential lessons about early nineteenth-century constructions and figurations of Italy. At the same time, it invites us to reflect on the impossibility of laying to rest a subject that continues to provide some of the most stimulating and innovative research in Romantic-period studies.' Byron Journal '[A] very engaging study...' BARS Bulletin