The Domestication of Genius: Biography and the Romantic Poet

Hardcover | December 19, 2009

byJulian North

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This is a book about the biographical afterlives of the Romantic poets and the creation of literary biography as a popular form. It focuses on the Lives of six major poets of the period: Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Felicia Hemans, and Letitia Landon, published from the 1820s, byThomas Moore, Mary Shelley, Thomas De Quincey, and others. It situates these within the context of the development of biography as a genre from the 1780s to the 1840s. Starting with Johnson, Boswell, and female collective Lives, it looks at how the market success of biography was built on itsrepresentation and publication of domestic life. In the 1820s and 30s biographers 'domesticated' Byron, Shelley, and other poets by situating them at home, opening up their (often scandalous) private lives to view, and bringing readers into intimate contact with greatness. Biography was aninfluential transmitter of the myth of 'the Romantic poet', as the self-creating, masculine genius, but it also posed one of the first important challenges to that myth, by revealing failures in domestic responsibility that were often seen as indicative of these writers' inattention to the needs ofthe reader. The Domestication of Genius is the most comprehensive account to date of the shaping of the Romantic poets by biography in the nineteenth-century. Written in a lively and accessible style, it casts new light on the literary culture of the 1830s and the transition between Romantic andVictorian conceptions of authorship. It offers a powerful re-evaluation of Romantic literary biography, of major biographers of the period, and of the posthumous reputations of the Romantic poets.

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This is a book about the biographical afterlives of the Romantic poets and the creation of literary biography as a popular form. It focuses on the Lives of six major poets of the period: Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Felicia Hemans, and Letitia Landon, published from the 1820s, byThomas Moore, Mary Shelley, Thomas De Quincey, ...

Julian North received her BA and D. Phil. from the University of Oxford. She is a lecturer in nineteenth-century English literature at the University of Leicester, having previously been a lecturer in the English Departments of the University of Reading and De Montfort University. She is the editor of volume 11 and co-editor of volume...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:December 19, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199571988

ISBN - 13:9780199571987

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Biography and Domestic Life2. Biography and the Romantic Poet3. The Lives of Byron4. Biography and the Shelleys5. De Quincey and the Lake Poets6. The Female Poet. The AfterLives of Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon