Review by Choice Review
Wordsworth's Ancestral Voices (1991) was based on the introductions he wrote to 50 of the titles in the invaluable "Revolution and Romanticism" series of facsimile reprints by Woodstock Books. The present volume gives us 40 more, again dealing with works published between 1782 and 1832 (the "Age of Romanticism"). As before, these are essays remarkably concentrated, rich with information, gracefully written, studded with apt quotation, and immensely useful, written by a literary critic and textual scholar of formidable learning and acute judgment. Together, the two volumes provide a complex and authoritative overview of a half century of turbulent artistic, intellectual, and political change. The works dealt with are not only by the enduringly famous--Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, et al.--but also the now obscure (William Frend, Richard Mant, Charles Maturin), and some emerging from obscurity (Charlotte Smith, Mary Tighe, Felicia Hemans). It is difficult to overstate the value of this absorbing work, not only to undergraduates majoring in English and related disciplines but also to graduate students and faculty. Here is a rare opportunity to acquire a great deal of knowledge--some of it very hard to come by--at small cost in time. Good index. N. Fruman; University of Minnesota
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.