Romantic biography lives. Despite the so-called 'death of the author', popular interest in the lives of the major Romantic writers has reached a new peak. Romantic Biography brings together Romantic biographers and critics to consider some of the key questions surrounding this publishing phenomenon. What precisely is Romantic biography? What is the relationship between it and Romantic writings more generally? And to what extent is Romantic biography itself the product of Romantic ideas about the self, time and creativity? Romantic Biography examines a range of canonical and non-canonical biographical subjects from a variety of practical and theoretical standpoints. Michael O'Neill opens the collection with an analysis of the relationship between Romantic biography and Romantic poetry. Jonathan Bate, Mark Storey and Kenneth R. Johnston reassess Clare, Southey and Wordsworth from their position as authors of recent/forthcoming biographies of the poets. Joe Bray and Alan Rawes explore the Romantic assumptions at work within contemporary biographies of Austen and Byron. Gerard Carruthers, Julian North, Jennifer Wallace and Arthur Bradley put biographies of Burns, Scott, Coleridge, Byron, Keats and Shelley into the context of contemporary historicist and theoretical ideas about national and gender identity, the body and difference. Ralph Pite brings the collection to a close with a further examination of the vexed question of Romantic biography's relation to Romanticism itself. Romantic Biography is a major new survey of Romantic life-writing and an important contribution to biographical studies more generally.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Romanticizing biography, Arthur Bradley and Alan Rawes; 'The tears shed or unshed': Romantic poetry and questions of biography, Michael O'Neill; John Clare: prologue to a new life, Jonathan Bate; Romantic biography: the case of Robert Southey, Mark Storey; A tale of two titles, Kenneth R. Johnston; Austen, 'enigmatic lacunae' and the art of biography, Joe Bray; 'That perverse passion' and Benita Eisler's 'Byronic' biography of Byron, Alan Rawes; Remaking Romantic Scotland: Lockhart's biographies of Burns and Scott, Gerard Carruthers; Self-possession and gender in Romantic literary biography, Julian North; Keats's frailty: the body and biography, Jennifer Wallace; 'Winging itself with laughter': Byron and Shelley after deconstruction, Arthur Bradley; Writing biography that is not Romantic, Ralph Pite; Bibliography; Index.
’This endlessly fascinating and suggestive collection of essays tackles the question of method...The range of these essays is satisfyingly varied and many of them are by Romantic biographers...’ BARS Bulletin