A major new study of Percy Shelley's intellectual life and poetic career, Shelley and the Revolutionary Sublime identifies Shelley's fascination with sublime natural phenomena as a key element in his understanding of the way ideas like 'nature' and 'imagination' informed the social and political structures of the Romantic period. Offering a genuinely fresh set of perspectives on Shelley's texts and contexts, Cian Duffy argues that Shelley's engagement with the British and French discourse on the sublime had a profound influence on his writing about political change in that age of revolutionary crisis. Examining Shelley's extensive use of sublime imagery and metaphor, Duffy offers not only a substantial reassessment of Shelley's work but also a significant re-appraisal of the role of the sublime in the cultural history of Britain during the Romantic period.
Cian Duffy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York.
Introduction: approaching the Shelleyan sublime; 1. From religion to revolution, 1810-13; 2. Cultivating the imagination, 1813-15; 3. Mont Blanc and the Alps, 1816; 4. Writing the revolution: Laon and Cynthia, 1817-23; 5. 'Choose reform or civil war', 1818-19; Conclusion: 'Good and the means of good', 1822; Notes; Bibliography; Index.