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Lessons of Romanticism : a critical companion /

Other Authors: Pfau, Thomas, 1960-, Gleckner, Robert F.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 1998
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Review by Choice Review

The title of this collection of papers (revised and expanded from a 1994 conference) is a misnomer. The first third of the book concerns present-day criticism in Romantic studies; the second, peripheral issues regarding Romantic art, music, and literature; and the third, gender issues. Worthy of praise is Greg Kucich's essay on Catherine Macaulay, the difference between a masculine and a feminine treatment of history, and Shelley's use of Macaulay's History of England (1963-83) in the unfinished Charles the First. Three of the essays prove almost unreadable through nominalization, abstruse words used metaphorically, abuse of litotes, and negative prefixes printed in parentheses in evasion of unequivocal propositions. Other studies will interest experts in a wide range of Romantic subjects, mostly English writers (especially Blake, Austen, and Clare), but also Thoreau and several Europeans. A few of the essays are illustrated, including one by C.S. Matheson with paintings of crowds viewing the paintings at the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Academy; one prints musical scores from Beethoven. Regrettably, most of these papers sacrifice the aesthetic to the political. Not recommended for undergraduates. M. S. Stephenson; University of Texas at Brownsville

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.