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Romanticism and the Rise of the Mass Public
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511292361)

Dramatic changes in the reading public and literary market in early nineteenth-century England not only altered the relationship between poet and reader, these changes prompted marked changes in conceptions of the poetic text, literary reception, and authorship. With the decline of patronage, the rise of the novel and the periodical press, and the emergence of the mass reading public, poets could no longer assume the existence of an audience for poetry. Andrew Franta examines how the reconfigurations of the literary market and the publishing context transformed the ways poets conceived of their audience and the forms of poetry itself. Through readings of Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Hemans, and Tennyson, and with close attention to key literary, political, and legal debates, Franta proposes a unique reading of Romanticism and its contribution to modern conceptions of politics and publicity.

• A significant reinterpretation of Romanticism as a field • A study of readership and the emergence of a mass public, and its relationship with literature • Features close readings of Wordsworth, Byron and Keats

Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: the regime of publicity; 1. Public opinion from Burke to Byron; 2. Wordsworth's audience problem; 3. Keats and the review aesthetic; 4. Shelley and the politics of political poetry; 5. The art of printing and the law of libel; 6. The right of private judgement; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Review

'Acute and suggestive in its readings, Romanticism [and the Rise of the Mass Public] is a welcome addition to the scholarship on the converging stories of Romanticism and the mass public in modernity and is of definite interest for scholars drawn to the subject.' Modern Philology

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