Catalogue


Romantic literature, race, and colonial encounter /
Peter J. Kitson.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
description
269 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
1403976457, 9781403976451
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
isbn
1403976457
9781403976451
catalogue key
6385734
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [227]-255) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-06-01:
Author/editor of numerous volumes on Romanticism, Kitson (Univ. of Dundee) is here "concerned with the significance of the biological and the various models of race" derived from it. He argues that "by the end of the Romantic period, the biological understanding of race was clearly becoming the dominant paradigmatic explanation of human difference." The author includes specific, cogent accounts of scientific works of the 18th and 19th centuries, and he discusses a variety of literary works, including writings by Coleridge, De Quincey, and Mary Shelley. In addition to lucid and expert surveys of influential arguments by Georges Cuvier, Carl Linnaeus, Georges-Louis Buffon, William Lawrence, and many others, Kitson explains controversies in views of race during the period. His arguments are balanced--for example, he writes that "racial prejudice and slavery may well have been equally both cause and effect of each other"--and well informed by use of recent scholarship, including William St. Clair's The Door of No Return (CH, Jan'08, 45-2758) and Anatomy of Racism, ed. by David Theo Goldberg (1990). In each instance, and in relation to his own excellent earlier work, Kitson offers new contributions, including exposition of the often-contradictory views of race in Romantic-period writings and culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. T. Hoagwood Texas A&M University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Kitson's brilliant new study shows how Romantic period literature and culture invented and absorbed the 'race idea' that proved crucial to later constructions of identity. Based on extensive archival investigations Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is an outstanding contribution to current understandings of Romantic science, colonialism, slavery, S. T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Mary Shelley. In particular, this study breaks new ground in its discussion of Romantic representations of China and the Far East. It will be welcomed by Romanticists, and more widely by scholars and students of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."--Nicholas Roe, University of St Andrews, Scotland."Kitson's Romantic Litearture, Race, and Colonial Encounter is a deeply learned and highly engaging study. Kitson contributes many compellingly original insights to the scholarship published in recent decades concerning the role played by 'race' . . . by examining and accounting for the complexities informing the various 'languages of racism' that were current in Enlightenment and Romantic thought. Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand how Eurocentric concepts of human difference derived from Romantic-era theology, philosophy, anthropology, and science eventually led or gave way to the full-fledged, biologically essentialist notions of difference in Victorian and modern racial thought."--Thw Wordsworth Circle
"Kitson's brilliant new study shows how Romantic period literature and culture invented and absorbed the 'race idea' that proved crucial to later constructions of identity. Based on extensive archival investigationsRomantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounteris an outstanding contribution to current understandings of Romantic science, colonialism, slavery, S. T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Mary Shelley. In particular, this study breaks new ground in its discussion of Romantic representations of China and the Far East. It will be welcomed by Romanticists, and more widely by scholars and students of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."--Nicholas Roe, University of St Andrews, Scotland.
"Kitson's brilliant new study shows how Romantic period literature and culture invented and absorbed the 'race idea' that proved crucial to later constructions of identity. Based on extensive archival investigations Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is an outstanding contribution to current understandings of Romantic science, colonialism, slavery, S. T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Mary Shelley. In particular, this study breaks new ground in its discussion of Romantic representations of China and the Far East. It will be welcomed by Romanticists, and more widely by scholars and students of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."--Nicholas Roe, University of St Andrews, Scotland. "Kitson's Romantic Litearture, Race, and Colonial Encounter is a deeply learned and highly engaging study. Kitson contributes many compellingly original insights to the scholarship published in recent decades concerning the role played by 'race' . . . by examining and accounting for the complexities informing the various 'languages of racism' that were current in Enlightenment and Romantic thought. Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand how Eurocentric concepts of human difference derived from Romantic-era theology, philosophy, anthropology, and science eventually led or gave way to the full-fledged, biologically essentialist notions of difference in Victorian and modern racial thought."-- Thw Wordsworth Circle
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2008
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Summaries
Main Description
Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is a study of the origin, growth, and development of "the race idea" and its impact on the writing of the Romantic period. It discusses how race as a concept became increasingly important in defining difference and identity in Romantic period culture. Subjects including slavery, natural history, comparative anatomy, missionary, diplomatic, and travel writing are explored and texts by Coleridge, De Quincey, Mary Shelley, Byron, Equiano, and others are situated in the complex and shifting discourse of Romantic theories of race. In particular, Romantic representations of China and the "Far East" are discussed as a key site where the period's changing attitudes to human difference and variety were especially prominent.
Main Description
Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounteris a study of the origin, growth, and development of "the race idea" and its impact on the writing of the Romantic period. It discusses how race as a concept became increasingly important in defining difference and identity in Romantic period culture. Subjects including slavery, natural history, comparative anatomy, missionary, diplomatic, and travel writing are explored and texts by Coleridge, De Quincey, Mary Shelley, Byron, Equiano, and others are situated in the complex and shifting discourse of Romantic theories of race. In particular, Romantic representations of China and the "Far East" are discussed as a key site where the period's changing attitudes to human difference and variety were especially prominent.
Main Description
Romantic Literature, Race, and Colonial Encounter is a study of the origin, growth, and development of "the race idea" and its impact on the writing of the Romantic period. It discusses how race as a concept became increasingly important in defining difference and identity in Romantic period culture. Subjects including slavery, natural history, comparative anatomy, missionary, diplomatic, and travel writing are explored and texts by Coleridge, De Quincey, Mary Shelley, Byron, Equiano, and others are situated in the complex and shifting discourse of Romantic theories of race. In particular, Romantic representations of China and the 'Far East' are discussed as a key site where the period's changing attitudes to human difference and variety were especially prominent.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In a investigation of primary sources and original readings, Kitson traces the origins of contemporary ideas about race through a variety of late 18th and early 19th-century literary texts by Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, De Quincey, and other published and unpublished writings about travel, exploration and natural history.
Table of Contents
Race and Romanticism the Current Debate
The Race Idea
Romantic Anatomies of Race
Romantic Cannibalism
Eating People in the South Seas
Slavery: Abolitionist Writing
Romantic Sinopolitans: Travellers, Diplomats and Khans
Tartars, Mongols, Manchus and Chinese
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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