Jens Martin Gurr, Berit Michel (Eds.)
Romantic Cityscapes. Selected Papers from the Essen Conference of the German Society for English Romanticism
ISBN 978-3-86821-489-5, 264 S., kt., € 28,50 (2013)
(Studien zur Englischen Romantik, Bd. 12)
While a few central Romantic texts representing the city have long been the subject of intense scholarly debate, Romanticists have only more recently begun systematically to investigate the centrality of the city to British Romanticism. To further this line of inquiry and to explore Romantic urbanity and specifically urban forms of cultural production and representation, Romantic Cityscapes assembles selected papers from the 14th International Symposium of the German Society for English Romanticism. The essays consider a broad range of forms of cultural expression: poetry, the novel, drama, the essay, religious tracts, travel writing, political commentary, but also medical literature, caricature and the visual arts, architecture and various forms of urban performance. Rather than simply discussing Romantic representations of the city, however, the volume addresses the more intriguing questions at the intersection of urban anthropology and urban poetics: How does the urban condition affect individuality, society and cultural production?
Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)
"The volume succeeds in depicting plural Romanticisms on multiple levels, not least through its urban focus. The book explores an impressive array of literary forms, from Ian Duncan's wide-ranging discussion of serial publication in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (33-43) to Fischer's focus on Anti-Jacobin novelists, often overlooked in favour of their more radical counterparts (203-15); from Frederick Burwick's exploration of staged adaptations of Pierce Egan's Life in London (147-55) to Cian Duffy's insights into Carsten Niebuhr's and Edward Daniel Clarke's travelogues (249-55). Taken in aggregate, Romantic Cityscapes presents a good balance of canonical and non-canonical, male and female authors. While London predictably features heavily in the book, it also includes discussions of more marginal metropolitan spaces, not least the suburban spaces of Cambridge (67-77) and Bath (33). Duncan's focus on the competing cityscape of Blackwood's Edinburgh acts as a companion piece to Anthony John Harding's essay on the London Metropolitan Magazine, which also succeeds in keeping 'secondary towns of the kingdom' in view (167-68). Katharina Rennhak's portrayal of the 'national unspecifity of Dublin' (197) in the romances of Anne Plumptre, Sydney Owenson and Maria Edgeworth is another important contribution for this reason."
Rebecca Butler, The BARS Review 45 (2015)