Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 13, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 295 pages
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This book is a history and theory of British poetry between 1760 and 1830, focussing on the relationship between Romantic poetry and the production, circulation and textuality of ballads. By discussing the ways in which eighteenth-century cultural and literary researches flowed into and shaped key canonical works, Maureen McLane argues that romantic poetry's influences went far beyond the merely literary. Breathing life into the work of eighteenth-century balladeers and antiquarians, she addresses the revival of the ballad, the figure of the minstrel, and the prevalence of a 'minstrelsy complex' in romanticism. Furthermore, she envisages a new way of engaging with romantic poetics, encompassing both 'oral' and 'literary' modes of poetic construction, and anticipates the role that technology might play in a media-driven twenty-first century. The study will be of great interest to scholars and students of Romantic poetry, literature and culture.

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About the author (2008)

Maureen N. McLane is Lecturer, Committee on History and Literature, at Harvard University. She is the author of Romanticism and the Human Sciences: Poetry, Population, and the Discourse of the Species (Cambridge 2000), and co-editor, with James Chandler, of The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge, 2008). She is also the author of Same Life: Poems (2008).

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