Taking into account the popularity and variety of the genre, this collaborative volume considers a wide range of English Romantic autobiographical writers and modes, including working-class autobiography, the familiar essay, and the staged presence. In the wake of Rousseau's Confessions, autobiography became an increasingly popular as well as a literary mode of writing. By the early nineteenth century, this hybrid and metamorphic genre is found everywhere in English letters, in prose and poetry by men and women of all classes. As such, it resists attempts to provide a coherent historical account or establish a neat theoretical paradigm. The contributors to Romantic Autobiography in England embrace the challenge, focusing not only on major writers such as William Wordsworth, De Quincey, and Mary Shelley, but on more recent additions to the canon such as Mary Robinson, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Mary Hays. There are also essays on the scandalous Memoirs of Mrs. Billington and on Joseph Severn's autobiographical scripting of himself as "the friend of Keats." The result is an exploratory and provisional mapping of the field, provocative rather than exhaustive, intended to inspire future scholarship and teaching.
Romantic Autobiography in England
Nineteenth Century Series (Ashgate)
Education & Reference