Reading Writing and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception
Published in Hardback by Oxford University Press, 2000.(Second edition in paperback, 2003)
Winner of the British Academy's Rose Mary Crawshay prize
Reading, Writing, and Romanticism bridges a perceived gulf between materialist and idealist approaches to the reader. Informed by an historical awareness of Romantic hermeneutics and its later developments (as well as by an understanding of the circumstances conditioning the production and consumption of literature in this period), the book examines how readers are imagined, addressed, figured and theorized in Romantic poetry and criticism (1790-1830). Models of canon-formation, intertextuality and reader-response are considered alongside the existence of reading-coteries, the social practices of reading, and reforms in copyright. Consideration is given to the philosophical and ideological influences which bear upon the status of reading at this time, as well as to the educational theories and practices which underpin reading habits. Non-canonical writers are included, and special attention is given to the emergence of women's poetry and its repercussions for the poetics of reception.