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Romantic Tragedies
The Dark Employments of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley

$113.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521767118

$ 113.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Troubled politically and personally, Wordsworth and Coleridge turned in 1797 to the London stage. Their tragedies, The Borderers and Osorio, were set in medieval Britain and early modern Spain to avoid the Lord Chamberlain's censorship. Drury Lane rejected both, but fifteen years later, Coleridge's revision, Remorse, had spectacular success there, inspiring Shelley's 1819 Roman tragedy, The Cenci, aimed for Covent Garden. Reeve Parker makes a striking case for the power of these intertwined works, written against British hostility to French republican liberties and Regency repression of home-grown agitation. Covertly, Remorse and The Cenci also turn against Wordsworth. Stressing the significance of subtly repeated imagery and resonances with Virgil, Shakespeare, Racine, Jean-François Ducis and Schiller, Parker's close readings, which are boldly imaginative and decidedly untoward, argue that at the heart of these tragedies lie powerful dramatic uncertainties driven by unstable passions – what he calls, adapting Coleridge's phrase for sorcery, 'dark employments'.

    • New interpretation of how major Romantic poets Coleridge, Shelley and Wordsworth used drama to explore their political and intellectual ambitions
    • Innovative new readings of The Borderers, Osorio, Remorse and The Cenci
    • New insights into the relationships between three major Romantic poets
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521767118
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Wordsworth:
    1. Reading Wordsworth's power: narrative and usurpation in The Borderers
    2. Cradling French Macbeth: managing the art of second-hand Shakespeare
    3. 'In some sort seeing with my proper eyes': Wordsworth and the spectacles of Paris
    4. Drinking up whole rivers: facing Wordsworth's watery discourse
    Part II. Coleridge and Shelley:
    5. Osorio's dark employments: tricking out Coleridgean tragedy
    6. Listening to remorse: assuming man's infirmities
    7. Reading Shelley's delicacy.

  • Author

    Reeve Parker, Cornell University, New York
    Reeve Parker is Professor of English Emeritus at Cornell University, and is also a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

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