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Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism
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  • 4 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 248 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.54 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/358/09033
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR509.D5 G66 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Didactic poetry, English--History and criticism
    • Addison, Joseph,--1672-1719--Knowledge--Literature
    • Cowper, William,--1731-1800--Knowledge--Literature
    • Wordsworth, William,--1770-18.--Excursion
    • Thomson, James,--1700-1748.--Seasons

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521831680 | ISBN-10: 0521831687)

This book traces connections between Georgic verse and developments in other spheres from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries: the mediation of perception by scientific instruments, of events by newspapers, of knowledge by the feelings, of the past by narrative. Kevis Goodman argues that because of the Georgic's concern for the transmission of knowledge and the extension of the senses over time and space, the verse of this period, far from burying history in nature (a position more often associated with Romanticism), instead presents new ways of perceiving history in terms of sensation. In this way Goodman opens up the subject of Georgic to larger areas of literary and cultural study including the history of the feelings and the prehistory of modern media concerns in relation to print culture and early scientific technology.

• Casts new light on major poems of nature from 1660 to 1815, from Marvell to Wordsworth • Draws on spectrum of primary sources including science writing, newspapers, periodicals, and contemporary historiography as well as poetry • Will be of interest to scholars studying eighteenth century and romantic poetry and more particularly the 'primitive' oral modes such as ballads, songs and folklore


Introduction: Georgic Modernity: sensory media and the affect of history; 1. The Georgics and the cultivation of mediums, 1660–1712; 2. The microscopic eye and the noise of history in Thomson's The Seasons; 3. Cowper's Georgic of the news: the 'loophole' in the retreat; 4. Aural histories in The Excursion: 'Passages of life'.


'It would be difficult, to my mind, to exaggerate the importance of this argument and the book it concludes. By tracing the history of georgic under-presence in eighteenth-century poetry, Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism resituates history within literature and finally builds a compelling case for the re-legitimation of Romantic temporality. Kevis Goodman outlines here a genuine history that can live in poetry, and she does so without either denying the value of ideological critique or compromising on the painfulness of historical experience. This work delivers an important qualification to historicism, one that should unsettle some of the assumptions that guide contemporary criticism.' Wordsworth Circle

'Highly recommended.' Choice

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