Review 19: An Online Review of New Books on English and American Literature of the 19th Century
 

 
Linda Freedman
WILLIAM BLAKE AND THE MYTH OF AMERICA: FROM THE ABOLITIONISTS TO THE COUNTERCULTURE
(Oxford, 2019) xiv + 273 pp.
Reviewed by Andrew Lincoln on 2019-08-14.

Linda Freedman's wide-ranging and consistently illuminating study is an important contribution to the burgeoning field of Blake reception studies. Ranging from early American re-printings of Blake poems in the 1830s and 1840s to the political activism of Paul Chan in the twenty-first century, Freedman examines religious writers, countercultural poets, musicians, novelists, and film-makers. To encompass...
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Trenton B. Olsen
WORDSWORTH AND EVOLUTION IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE: ENTANGLED INFLUENCE
(Routledge, 2019) xii + 182 pp.
Reviewed by Robert M. Ryan on 2019-07-28.

Except in college catalogues, the dividing line between the Romantic and Victorian periods of English literature appears to be fading. The date of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne--1837--seems increasingly less useful for understanding the literary history of the nineteenth century. Wordsworth, for example, went on writing poetry for 13 years after Victoria's coronation and his prestige and...
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Justin A. Sider
PARTING WORDS: VICTORIAN POETRY AND PUBLIC ADDRESS
(Virginia, 2018) xi + 263 pp.
Reviewed by Veronica Alfano on 2019-07-27.

Victorian poets often find themselves bidding adieu. "For my part," says Thomas Hardy, "if there is any way of getting a melancholy satisfaction out of life it lies in dying, so to speak, before one is out of the flesh; by which I mean putting on the manners of ghosts [...] To think of life as passing away is a sadness; to think of it as past is at least tolerable" (The Early Life of Thomas Hardy...
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Alexander Regier
EXORBITANT ENLIGHTENMENT: BLAKE HAMANN, AND ANGO-GERMAN CONSTELLATIONS
Oxford, 2018. viii + 253 pp.
Reviewed by David Jasper on 2019-07-13.

In this very fine study of eighteenth century England, Alexander Regier radically resituates common assumptions about the Enlightenment and Romanticism in English and Anglo-German literature and culture. Although he can sometimes be repetitive and makes rather too many typographical and grammatical errors for such a finely produced volume, these failings are far outweighed by the exuberance of the...
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Brian Rejack and Michael Theune, eds.
KEATS'S NEGATIVE CAPABILITY: NEW ORIGINS AND AFTERLIVES
(Liverpool, 2019) 291+xxii
Reviewed by Rebecca Nesvet on 2019-07-02.

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume D: The Romantic Era, last updated in 2018, includes among its selections from the works of John Keats a document titled "Negative Capability"--in brackets. The document is Keats's letter of 21 or 27 [?] December, 1817 to his émigré brothers George and Tom. As the brackets indicate, the letter is not, in fact, an essay on the...
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