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The Lake Poets and Professional Identity


  • Page extent: 312 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 821.709
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: *
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Lake poets
    • English poetry--19th century--History and criticism
    • Great Britain--Intellectual life--19th century

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521866385)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$144.00 (C)

In this 2007 work, Goldberg argues that Wordsworth, Southey and Coleridge - the ‘Lake school’ - aligned themselves with emerging constructions of the ‘professional gentleman’ that challenged the vocational practices of late eighteenth-century British culture.


Acknowledgements; Introduction: professionalism and the Lake School of Poetry; Part 1. Romanticism, Risk, and Professionalism: 1. Cursing Doctor Young, and after; Part II. Genealogies of the Romantic Wanderer: 2. Merit and reward in 1729; 3. James Beattie and The Minstrel; Part III. Romantic Itinerants: 4. Authority and the itinerant cleric; 5. William Cowper and the itinerant Lake poet; Part IV. The Lake School, Professionalism, and the Public: 6. Robert Southey and the claims of literature; 7. 'Ministry more palpable': Wordsworth's Romantic professionalism; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


"Brian Goldberg’s richly instructive new study, The Lake Poets and Professional Identity, considerably deepens an ongoing conversation about the professionalization of the poet in the Romantic era. He confirms the complexity of the Romantic poets’ stance toward the literary marketplace,..."
-Sarah M. Zimmerman, Fordham University

"Collectively and individually, the Lake poets looked back to the examples of eighteenth-century predecessors—Savage, James Beattie, and William Cowper, in particular—both as representatives of a fading systemthat still held the appeal of relative stability and as protoprofessional figures already engaged in theorizing the terms of a new independence."
-Sarah M. Zimmerman, Fordham University

"Goldberg’s argument is built on nuance, half-identifications, and subtle differentiations,moving between text and career repeatedly to account for the Lake poets’ tenacious efforts to forge a new professionalism. This methodology succeeds in generating a thick fabric of poetic and biographical allusion but sacrifices some of the broader contours, both historical and argumentative."
-Sarah M. Zimmerman, Fordham University

"The primary benefit of this critical approach is the argument’s seamlessness; Goldberg weaves an intricate, substantive account of the poets’ sustained efforts in the late 1790s to create a new professional paradigm that should have us rereading their works for informative glimpses of that work in progress."
-Sarah M. Zimmerman, Fordham University

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