Offering a genuinely fresh set of perspectives on Shelley's texts and contexts, Cian Duffy argues that Shelley's engagement with the British and French discourse on the sublime had a profound influence on his writing about political change in that age of revolutionary crisis. Examining Shelley's extensive use of sublime imagery and metaphor, Duffy offers not only a substantial reassessment of Shelley's work but also a significant re-appraisal of the sublime's role in the cultural history of Britain during the Romantic period as well as Shelley's fascination with natural phenomena.
Introduction: approaching the Shelleyan sublime; 1. From religion to revolution, 1810–13; 2. Cultivating the imagination, 1813–15; 3. Mont Blanc and the Alps, 1816; 4. Writing the revolution: Laon and Cynthia, 1817–23; 5. 'Choose reform or civil war', 1818–19; Conclusion: 'Good and the means of good', 1822; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
"The clear strength of the book is so vigorous an attempt to render Shelley a profoundly consisten thinker...we learn from this ambitious and valuable book how to call disparate works together and hear all of Shelley's texts converse with each other in engaging, instructive new ways."
-John Morillo, North Carolina State University Studies in Romanticism
"Cian Duffy's recent Shelley and the Revolutionary Sublime will be welcomed by readers because it helps us to reconfigure the historical and theoretical terms in which Shelley's relation to the sublime has usually been understood...there is much to learn from Duffy's account."
-Mark Canuel, University of Illinois at Chicago, symploke