The Romantic age was one of anger and its consequences: revolution and reaction, terror and war. Andrew M. Stauffer explores the changing place of anger in the literature and culture of the period, as Englishmen and women rethought their relationship to the aggressive passions in the wake of the French Revolution. Drawing on diverse fields and discourses such as aesthetics, politics, medicine, and the law, and tracing the classical legacy the Romantics inherited, Stauffer charts the period's struggle to define the relationship of anger to justice and the creative self. In their poetry and prose, Romantic authors including Blake, Coleridge, Godwin, Shelley, and Byron negotiate the meanings of indignation and rage amidst a clamorous debate over the place of anger in art and in civil society. This innovative book has much to contribute to the understanding of Romantic literature and the cultural history of the emotions.
Introduction: fits of rage; 1. Towards Romantic anger; 2. Burke, Coleridge and the rage for indignation; 3. Inflammatory reactions; 4. Provocation and the plot of anger; 5. Shelley and the masks of anger; 6. Byron's curse; Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
"Stauffer’s book has so much to tell us, not just about the subject of Romantic anger, but also about the very nature of human nature."
Stephen C. Behrendt, University of Nebraska, Eighteenth-Century Life
"...A study that is educative and stimulating, offering a detailed and compelling picture of the 'complex history...of negotiations regarding power, justice and the creative self' that emerges from the study of Romantic anger."
Alan Rawes, University of Manchester, Romanticism
"Stauffer’s text brings forth a seminal study on Romantic anger that accomplishes an essential role in Romantic scholarship, placing his interpretations on anger within the context of cultural understanding."
Linda Reesman, City University of New York, Romanticism on the Net
"Anger, Revolution, and Romanticism is a brilliant analysis of 'anger management' in the Romantic period...[Stauffer] locates a literary rhetoric of anger in the wake of the French Revolution and connects this both to political language and to metaphors of anger in Romantic writing more generally as well as to medical theory and practice. "
Orianne Smith and Matthew Scott, This Year's Work in English Studies
Anger, Revolution and Romanticism is a thoughtful and wide-ranging study of an absorbing topic. This book will be long valued for its nuances exploration of the ever-timely question of how words on the page aim to inflict violence and cause harm."
-Kim Wheatley, College of William and Mary, 1650-1850: Ideas, Inquiries, and Aesthetics in the Early Modern Era