Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > The Lake Poets and Professional Identity
The Lake Poets and Professional Identity


  • Page extent: 312 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 821.709
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: *
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Lake poets
    • English poetry--19th century--History and criticism
    • Great Britain--Intellectual life--19th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521866385)

The idea that the inspired poet stands apart from the marketplace is considered central to British Romanticism. However, Romantic authors were deeply concerned with how their occupation might be considered a kind of labour comparable to that of the traditional professions. In the process of defining their work as authors, Wordsworth, Southey and Coleridge - the 'Lake school' - aligned themselves with emerging constructions of the 'professional gentleman' that challenged the vocational practices of late eighteenth-century British culture. They modelled their idea of authorship on the learned professions of medicine, church, and law, which allowed them to imagine a productive relationship to the marketplace and to adopt the ways eighteenth-century poets had related their poetry to other kinds of intellectual work. In this work, Goldberg explores the ideas of professional risk, evaluation and competition that the writers developed as a response to a variety of eighteenth-century depictions of the literary career.

• Departs from the myth of Romantic poets as unworldly to show how they constructed their own professionalism • Will be of interest to scholars of the professions in the eighteenth century as well as of Romanticism • Offers distinct readings of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey


Acknowledgements; Introduction: professionalism and the Lake School of Poetry; Part 1. Romanticism, Risk, and Professionalism: 1. Cursing Doctor Young, and after; Part II. Genealogies of the Romantic Wanderer: 2. Merit and reward in 1729; 3. James Beattie and The Minstrel; Part III. Romantic Itinerants: 4. Authority and the itinerant cleric; 5. William Cowper and the itinerant Lake poet; Part IV. The Lake School, Professionalism, and the Public: 6. Robert Southey and the claims of literature; 7. 'Ministry more palpable': Wordsworth's Romantic professionalism; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis