By James Treadwell

ISBN-10: 0199262977

ISBN-13: 9780199262977

ISBN-10: 1435622200

ISBN-13: 9781435622203

What did autobiography suggest to Romantic readers and writers? How do autobiographical texts of the interval mirror, exhibit, and negotiate those stipulations? Answering those questions and extra, James Treadwell examines a wide selection of Romantic texts, with unmarried chapters dedicated to works by way of Coleridge, Byron, and Lamb. by means of keeping a continual relation among the texts and their contexts, this ebook bargains the 1st right learn of what's truly intended through "Romantic autobiography."

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In their different ways Foster and D’Israeli move uncertainly between prescriptive and pragmatic approaches, negotiating conflicts between the two as they become aware of them. The 1822 Edinburgh Review piece, in contrast to Busk’s, sees very little difficulty, and ends by affirming the conventional judgements. The writer hopes that it has ‘in some measure’ explained the reason why Auto-biography at once excites such a strong and enduring interest as it has done, and is the source of so much valuable instruction with regard to the latent springs of human character.

Correspondingly, other kinds of ‘use’ come into play for the reader. To know the life of a person is one thing, but autobiography seems to present tantalizing possibilities of encountering the persons themselves. Johnson values intimate detail too, but what interests him is the satisfying congruence between private and public life: the example he gives in Rambler 60 is Sallust’s description of the conspirator Catiline’s uneven gait, indicating the ‘violent commotion’ (p. 183) of his nature. Knowledge of this sort is valuable ‘whether we intend to enlarge our science, or increase our virtue’ (p.

34 Where does she find this consensus? The statement refers far more to the critical environment, the community of Johnson and D’Israeli, than to the texts themselves, Rousseau’s or De Quincey’s or (the article’s particular bête noire) Harriette Wilson’s. It appears to be speaking for a consensus of readers, but it is really about a theoretical tradition. The classical tag is invoked as a self-evident proposition about autobiography in the abstract. Utility and amusement again provide a form of official sanction for the indisputable popularity of such writing.

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Autobiographical Writing and British Literature, 1783-1834 by James Treadwell


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