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Francis Jeffrey in Recent Whig Interpretations of Romantic Literary History


This essay looks at the analogical and genealogical relationship between the skeptical, historicizing trend of Romantic criticism in the wake of Jerome McGann‘s The Romantic Ideology (1983) and the critical assumptions and strategies characteristic of the Whig Edinburgh Review under Francis Jeffrey, and at the way the civil wars of recent Romantic criticism re-enact what McGann himself calls “the civil wars of the romantic movement itself”--between Whig and Tory, for example; Scotland and England; Byron and Wordsworth; critic and poet.