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Romantic antiquity : Rome in the British imagination, 1789-1832 /
Jonathan Sachs.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
description
x, 304 p.
ISBN
0195376129, 9780195376128
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
isbn
0195376129
9780195376128
catalogue key
7014177
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-293) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
an impressive contribution
It is a confident, authoritative examination of the uses to which Rome was put in Romanticism: how the legacy of the Roman republic was debated, manipulated, and fought over, and its relevance to concepts of nation and political ideology.
" Romantic Antiquity is an impressive and wide-ranging study of the Roman presence in British literary and political culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By reminding us of romanticism's pervasive classicism, and by shifting the pivot for that classicism from Greece to Rome, Jonathan Sachs not only challenges a range of embedded assumptions about romantic literature but develops a compelling new sense of the forms of historical consciousness that shadowed the emergence of British modernity. Sachs focuses on republican Rome, and politics becomes the book's major interpretive thread. From Burke, Godwin, and the Jacobin novel through Byron and Shelley to the post-war London theater, we discover just how closely British writers expressed and debated their own cultural identity through the contested legacy of Rome." --Kevin Gilmartin, California Institution of Technology
"Romantic Antiquityis an impressive and wide-ranging study of the Roman presence in British literary and political culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By reminding us of romanticism's pervasive classicism, and by shifting the pivot for that classicism from Greece to Rome, Jonathan Sachs not only challenges a range of embedded assumptions about romantic literature but develops a compelling new sense of the forms of historical consciousness that shadowed the emergence of British modernity. Sachs focuses on republican Rome, and politics becomes the book's major interpretive thread. From Burke, Godwin, and the Jacobin novel through Byron and Shelley to the post-war London theater, we discover just how closely British writers expressed and debated their own cultural identity through the contested legacy of Rome." --Kevin Gilmartin, California Institution of Technology
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This work argues that Rome is relevant to the Romantic period not as the continuation of an earlier neoclassicism, but rather as a concept that is simultaneously transformed and transformative: transformed in the sense that new models of historical thinking produced a changed understandings of historicity itself.
Main Description
The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present. They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past. Book jacket.
Main Description
While scholars have long noted the fascination with Roman literature and history expressed by many preeminent British cultural figures of the early and middle-eighteenth century, they have only sparingly commented on the increasingly vexed role Rome played during the subsequent Romantic period. This critical oversight has skewed our understanding of British Romanticism as being either a full-scale rejection of classical precedents or an embrace of Greece at the expense of Rome. In contrast, Romantic Antiquity argues that Rome is relevant to the Romantic period not as the continuation of an earlier neoclassicism, but rather as a concept that is simultaneously transformed and transformative: transformed in the sense that new models of historical thinking produced a changed understandings of historicity itself and therefore a way to comprehend changes associated with modernity. The book positions Rome as central to a variety of literary events, including the British response to the French Revolution, the Jacobin novel, Byron's late rejection of Romantic poetics, Shelley's Hellenism and the London theatre, where the staging of Rome is directly responsible for Hazlitt's understanding of poetry as anti-democratic, or "right royal." By exposing how Roman references helped structure Romantic poetics and theories of the imagination, and how this aesthetic work, in turn, impacted fundamental aspects of political modernity like mass democracy and the spread of empire, the book recasts how we view the presence of antiquity in a modernity with which we continue to struggle.
Main Description
While scholars have long noted the fascination with Roman literature and history expressed by many preeminent British cultural figures of the early and middle-eighteenth century, they have only sparingly commented on the increasingly vexed role Rome played during the subsequent Romanticperiod. This critical oversight has skewed our understanding of British Romanticism as being either a full-scale rejection of classical precedents or an embrace of Greece at the expense of Rome. In contrast, Romantic Antiquity argues that Rome is relevant to the Romantic period not as thecontinuation of an earlier neoclassicism, but rather as a concept that is simultaneously transformed and transformative: transformed in the sense that new models of historical thinking produced a changed understandings of historicity itself and therefore a way to comprehend changes associated withmodernity. The book positions Rome as central to a variety of literary events, including the British response to the French Revolution, the Jacobin novel, Byron's late rejection of Romantic poetics, Shelley's Hellenism and the London theatre, where the staging of Rome is directly responsible forHazlitt's understanding of poetry as anti-democratic, or "right royal." By exposing how Roman references helped structure Romantic poetics and theories of the imagination, and how this aesthetic work, in turn, impacted fundamental aspects of political modernity like mass democracy and the spread ofempire, the book recasts how we view the presence of antiquity in a modernity with which we continue to struggle.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Political Writing and the Novel
Rome and the Revolution Controversyp. 49
Burke's Use of Rome in the Reflectionsp. 52
Roman Heroes as the Model of GodwinÆs Selfless Benevolencep. 65
From Roman to roman: The Jacobin Novel and the Roman Legacy in the 1790sp. 77
Emma Courtney and the Problem of Roman Readingp. 82
The Moral and Pedagogical Potential of the Novel Formp. 90
Godwin and the Case for the Novel as an Agent of Social Changep. 93
Holcroft, Inchbald, and the Critical Account of Classical Learningp. 101
Poetry
A Roman Standard: Byron, Ancient Rome, and Literary Declinep. 115
Rome, the Decline of Poetry, and the Letter to John Murrayp. 116
Childe Harold and the Ruins of Romep. 131
"Yet the Capital of the World": Rome, Repetition, and History in Shelley's Later Writingsp. 146
Rome in Shelley's Historical Imaginationp. 151
Rome and Greece in Shelley's Philosophical Viewp. 154
Thomson, Shelley, and Libertyp. 156
Rome and Hellasp. 161
Rome, Athens, and Imitation in Shelley's Defence of Poetryp. 164
The Bureaucratization of the Imaginativep. 172
Drama
Rome-antic Shakespeare: Coriolanus on Stage and Page, 1789-1820p. 179
Shakespeare and the Classicsp. 184
Shakespeare and Romantic Performance: Kemble's Coriolanusp. 189
Kean's Challenge to Kemble's Coriolanusp. 206
Hazlitt, Coriolanus, and the Aristocratic Imaginationp. 209
What Is the People? Rome on the Romantic Stage after Kemblep. 221
John Howard Payne's Brutus: Staging Regicide after the Revolutionp. 231
J. S. Knowles's Caius Gracchus: Agrarian Revolt and the Politics of Cornp. 247
Catiline: Democracy, Empire, and the Reaction to the Roman Revivalp. 261
Conclusionp. 272
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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