- For Donald H. ReimanDedication and Remembrance
We are delighted to dedicate this issue of the Keats-Shelley Journal to the memory of Donald H. Reiman, who died at the age of 85 on November 20, 2019, after a protracted case of Alzheimer's disease. For many years the heart and soul of the Keats-Shelley Association, Don was instrumental to its flourishing. Through a career of prodigious achievements, he has left a farreaching and lasting legacy that we honor here.
Don received his B.A. from the College of Wooster and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Royal Gettmann. He taught at such distinguished institutions as Duke University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Columbia University, and the Graduate Center of City University, New York. From 1965 until 2011, Don served as Editor and then Coeditor of the landmark edition Shelley and his Circle. In 1988, he was named the annual James P. R. Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford University, and for over twenty years he was Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Delaware. The remarkable scope of his institutional service to the field of Romanticism itself includes founding the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association, co-founding The Byron Society, and serving as an officer of the Keats-Shelley Association of America for over 30 years.
In Publishing, Editing, and Reception: Essays in Honor of Donald H. Reiman, editor Michael Edson calculated that Don produced on average "nearly four books and three article/reviews each year for fifty-two years." Perhaps just as astonishing as the sheer quantity and scholarly breadth of his work is the variety of approaches Don took to his subjects. He wore many hats and all of them with distinction, whether operating as a critic, textual scholar, editor, biographer, literary historian, or bibliographer. Don's particular contributions to the study of Romanticism include a series of monumental editions of which he was general editor: the nine-volume The Romantics Reviewed; the 128-volume The Romantic Context:Poetry; and the nine-volume Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics. His critical book, Intervals of Inspiration remains one of the best studies of Romanticism and the skeptical tradition, and the select gathering of his essays and reviews in Romantic Texts and Contexts demonstrates why Don ranks as one [End Page 9] of the great editors of the past century. No matter what the project, as William Keach once remarked, Don set "the standards for sound scholarship in romantic studies." Those standards were set very high indeed, and nowhere more so than in Don's work on Shelley.
As far back as 1965, with the publication of his critical study of The Triumph of Life, Don established himself as one of Shelley's finest critics and editors. And when he moved out of the university in order to succeed Kenneth Neill Cameron as editor of Shelley and his Circle, Don was not so much forsaking the classroom as widening it to include us all. A whole generation of Shelley scholars have gone to school on that magisterial edition; and generations to come will continue to profit from its meticulous scholarship. Today, virtually all roads to Shelley lead through Don's work, whether it be the students wanting the standard brief introduction to Shelley's life and work, which Don provided in the Twayne Series, Percy Bysshe Shelley; the reader looking for the most authoritative selection of Shelley's poetry, which Don co-edited in the Norton critical edition; the scholar looking for the most comprehensive treatment of Shelley's poetry, which Don co-edited in the ongoing eight-volume, The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley; or those interested in investigating the genesis and development of Shelley's work, the material for which has been provided in the Manuscripts of the Younger Romantic series, and in the twenty-three volumes of The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts series, of which Don was also General Editor and individual contributor.
A new generation of Shelley editors were brought up under Don's mentorship, myself included. Don's brilliant essay titled "Editing Shelley" was my initial introduction as a graduate student to editing...