Romantic Tragedies: The Dark Employments of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism 87)

Romantic Tragedies: The Dark Employments of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism 87)

By: Reeve Parker (author)Hardback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


Troubled politically and personally, Wordsworth and Coleridge turned in 1797 to the London stage. Their tragedies, The Borderers and Osorio, were set in medieval Britain and early modern Spain to avoid the Lord Chamberlain's censorship. Drury Lane rejected both, but fifteen years later Coleridge's revision, Remorse, had spectacular success there, inspiring Shelley's 1819 Roman tragedy, The Cenci, aimed for Covent Garden. Reeve Parker makes a striking case for the power of these intertwined works, written against British hostility to French republican liberties and Regency repression of home-grown agitation. Covertly, Remorse and The Cenci also turn against Wordsworth. Stressing the significance of subtly repeated imagery and resonances with Virgil, Shakespeare, Racine, Jean-Francois Ducis and Schiller, Parker's close readings, which are boldly imaginative and decidedly untoward, argue that at the heart of these tragedies lie powerful dramatic uncertainties driven by unstable passions - what he calls, adapting Coleridge's phrase for sorcery, 'dark employments'.

About Author

Reeve Parker is Professor of English Emeritus at Cornell University, and is also a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.


Part I. Wordsworth: 1. Reading Wordsworth's power: narrative and usurpation in The Borderers; 2. Cradling French Macbeth: managing the art of second-hand Shakespeare; 3. 'In some sort seeing with my proper eyes': Wordsworth and the spectacles of Paris; 4. Drinking up whole rivers: facing Wordsworth's watery discourse; Part II. Coleridge and Shelley: 5. Osorio's dark employments: tricking out Coleridgean tragedy; 6. Listening to remorse: assuming man's infirmities; 7. Reading Shelley's delicacy.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521767118
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 316
  • ID: 9780521767118
  • weight: 640
  • ISBN10: 0521767113

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly