Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry
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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