Spring 2018 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2018 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Prose in the Age of Poets
Romanticism and Biographical Narrative from Johnson to De Quincey

Annette Wheeler Cafarelli

306 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1990 | ISBN 9780812281989 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2017 | ISBN 9781512801262 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

In Prose in the Age of Poets, Annette Wheeler Cafarelli demonstrates that nonfictional narrative of the time was a central expression of British Romanticism. The rise of interest in the individual traditionally associated with Romantic autobiography was actually part of a wider cultural interest in biography—especially literary biography.

Following Johnson's lead in the Lives of the Poets, virtually every major writer of the period experimented with sequences of short, anecdotal lives that became a characteristic Romantic vehicle for discussing theories of creativity, canon, and the place of the poet in society. The Romantics took in new directions the examination of the relation of artists' lives and works, biographers and their subjects, and texts and their readers. Romantic biography, Cafarelli contends, offers a perspective from which to reconsider conventional boundaries of genre, periodization, and the movement from Neoclassicism to Romanticism.

In examining the Romantics as prose writers and biographers, Cafarelli explores the affiliations between Romantic theories of reading and writing and twentieth-century critical methodologies. She situates the biographical writings of the major poets, including Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron, in the context of detailed analyses of biographies by Johnson, Hazlitt, De Quincey, Scott, Southey, and other lesser-known contemporaries.

Prose in the Age of Poets will interest scholars and students of Romanticism, Johnson, biography and autobiography, and narrative theory.

Annette Wheeler Cafarelli taught in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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