Romanticism: Comparative Discourses


Romanticism: Comparative Discourses



Exploring how discourse is figured in the texts of key European Romantic authors such as Wackenroder, Coleridge, Byron, and Hugo, this volume offers nuanced readings of the under-explored syntactic, semantic, and ideological structures of Romantic works. Rather than proposing a new theoretical position on the issue of what constitutes Romantic discourse studies, the editors have commissioned essays that seek to capture aspects of this discursive field, building on previous scholarship to offer fresh ways of seeing how Romantic discourse matrices work. The volume is organized into three sections: Language and Romantic Discourse Systems; Women Writers and Romantic Constructions of Power; and Varieties of Revisionist Discourse in Romanticism. Each section features individual essays providing critical re-readings of nine Romantic texts and four Romantic topoi. Whether writing on Charlotte Smith's The Old Manor House or Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey, on rescue operas or criminal drama, the contributors, who include Marjean Purinton, Kari Lokke, Rodney Farnsworth, and Jeffrey Cass, expand our understanding of Romantic modes of argumentation.



Publication Date



Ashgate Press


Burlington, VT


English Language and Literature


Table of Contents


1. Prolegomenon to the Study of Romanticism’s Comparative Discourses / Larry H. Peer and Diane Long Hoeveler

Part 1: Language and Romantic Discourse Systems

2. Gothic Opera as Romantic Discourse in Britain and France: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue / Diane Long Hoeveler and Sarah Davis Cordova

3. Pursuing the Plerotic Sublime: Romantic Poetry and the Failure of Language / Richard A. Nanian

4. Half-Asleep on Thresholds: Fragile Boundaries in Coleridge’s "Fears in Solitude" / Onita Vaz

5. Romantic Drama and the Discourse of Criminality / Marjean D. Purinton;

Part 2: Women Writers and Romantic Constructions of Power

6. Towards Constructing a "Poetics of Space" for the Sentimental Novel: A Topo-Analysis of Charlotte Smith’s ‘The Old Manor House’ / Nancy Metzger

7. The Second Soul-less Sex? Mary Wollstonecraft and the ‘Mahometan’ / Carolyn A. Weber

8. Ithuriel’s Spear and Detecting the Counterfeit: Edgeworth’s Miltonic Allusions in ‘Belinda’ / Jeffrey Cass

9. Parting Songs: Hemans, Landon, and Barret Browning Rewrite / Friederike Brun

10. The Discourse of Religious Bildung in Anne Brontë’s ‘Agnes Grey’ / Larry H. Peer

Part 3: Varieties of Revisionist Discourse in Romanticism

11. Reader Agency and the Discourse of History in the ‘Antiquary’ / Bonnie J. Gunzenhauser

12. Reading Beyond Body, Cane, and Crosier: Talleyrand as Romantic Discourse / Rodney Farnsworth

13. Byron and ‘Manfred’: Epistolary Journal into Dramatic Poem / D. L. Macdonald

14. The Romantic Artist on the Couch: A Freudian Approach to Wackenroder’s Musician, Berlinger / Sonja E. Klocke


Romanticism: Comparative Discourses