Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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p. ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I have been fortunate in material resources and support at Princeton University, which supplied a dream of an office, expert technical support, a richly stored library, the gift of time with sabbaticals, and students with whom to share work and ideas, and from whom to learn....

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Note on Texts

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p. xv

Because Romantic Interactions is, among other commitments, a work of historicizing criticism, when possible, I follow lifetime editions, or ones with historical pertinence. Attempting to represent these texts as they would have been read in their first eras of publication, reading, and reception, I have not standardized or modernized (unless indicated)....

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Introduction: "The will of a social being"

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pp. 1-13

Afamed myth of "Romanticism" is its generative, even revolutionary, literature of single perspectives, solitary converse, stark differentiation of self and world, highly signaled subjective agency. Though frequently dismantled, the myth remains arresting--iconic even, for poets...

Part I. Two Women & Poetic Tradition

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p. 15

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Chapter One. Charlotte Smith's Emigrants and the Politics of Allusion

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pp. 17-59

Unfolding across Charlotte Smith's two-book epic The Emigrants (1793) are interactions so conspicuously literary as to seem metaliterary. Its dynamic is a conflict of humanitarian sensibility and political outrage--a conflict not just in the pressures of the historical present, the advent of...

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Chapter Two. Mary Wollstonecraft Re:Reading the Poets

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pp. 60-90

"A taste for rural scenes, in the present state of society, appears to me to be very often an artificial sentiment, rather inspired by poetry and romances, than a real perception of the beauties of nature," begins a letter from "W. Q." to the editor of the Monthly Magazine April 1797. W. Q...

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Chapter Three. The Poets' "Wollstonecraft"

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pp. 91-109

Praised she was, by sentimental and political allies; but the stronger reflux was the acid wave that crested just after her death, thanks to Godwin, who in grieving devotion to the full story, rushed into print his Memoirs of the Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman...

Part II. Greater Interactions, Generative Interactions: Two Wordsworths

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p. 111

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Chapter Four. Lyrical Ballads and the Pregnant Words of Men's Passions

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pp. 113-151

"It was my wish in this poem to show the manner in which such men cleave to the same ideas, to follow the turns of passion . . . by which their conversation is swayed . . . while I adhered to the style in which such persons describe, to take care that words, which in their minds are impregnated...

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Chapter Five. William's Sister: Alternatives of Alter Ego

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pp. 152-178

"There never lived a woman whom he would not have lectured and admonished under circumstances that should have seemed to require it; nor would he have conversed with her in any mood whatever without wearing an air of mild condescension to her understanding," wrote Thomas...

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Chapter Six. Dorothy's Conversation with William

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pp. 179-207

No use arguing that for Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth did not set the model of "Poet": her words may imprint his poetry, but his power of imagination haunts hers. Such is the story of another moonscaped inspiration, elaborated in her Grasmere journal:...

Part III. A Public Attraction

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p. 209

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Chapter Seven. Gazing on "Byron": Separation and Fascination

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pp. 211-252

"One may gaze on it for ever, and contemplate an exhaustless subject--all that the capacious imagination has produced, and is producing--the populous, endless world of fancy." Thus Barry Cornwall's "Chapter on Portraits" romances a portrait of Sir Walter Scott featured in the 1829...

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Chapter Eight. Byron and the Muse of Female Poetry

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pp. 253-289

If, in John Wilson's musing, Byron's power was to create the reader who "feels, for a moment, that the voice which reaches the inmost recesses of his heart" is addressing this heart alone (Edinburgh Review 30: 90), Byron's paradoxical coup was to create this intimacy in massive plurals:...

Notes

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pp. 291-336

Works Cited

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pp. 337-367

Index

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pp. 369-381