English Romantic Writers and the West Country (BOK)
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English Romantic Writers and the West Country is a genuinely groundbreaking study of Romanticism in relation to the landscape, literature and history of England's West Country. Appearing at a moment when devolution has energised creativity and criticism in Scotland and Wales the book is timely, its claims urgent. For long confounded with a monolithic British entity or maligned as 'Lakers' or 'Cockneys', the diverse regional forms of 'English Romanticism' are ripe for reassessment. Ranging energetically from the eighteenth century to the twentieth, and west of a line between the Wye at Tintern and Jane Austen's Chawton, English Romantic Writers and the West Country offers a thoroughgoing reconfiguration of Romantic culture in terms of English regional identity. The fifteen chapters present exciting new work by elading scholars from the UK, US, Canada and Japan. Aware of dozens of Romantic writers inspired by the landscape of England's West and the vibrant city of Bristol, the book offers major reassessments of Bloomfield, Hardy, Hazlitt, Hemans, Keats, Radcliffe, Shelley, SOuthey and Wordsworth. All of the chapters engage bracingly with literature and landscape, ecology, archaeology, myth, history, politics, religion and the sea. Compellingly written and with numerous illustrations, English Romantic Writers and the West Country challenges us to rethink what it meant to be an English writer at a period when Keats traced England's 'native music' to Bristol's Thomas Chatterton.