Romanticism and Time
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183 pages

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‘Eternity is in love with the productions of time’. This original edited volume takes William Blake’s aphorism as a basis to explore how British Romantic literature creates its own sense of time. It considers Romantic poetry as embedded in and reflecting on the march of time, regarding it not merely as a reaction to the course of events between the late-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, but also as a form of creative engagement with history in the making.

The authors offer a comprehensive overview of the question of time from a literary perspective, applying a diverse range of critical approaches to Romantic authors from William Blake and Percy Shelley to John Clare and Samuel Rodgers. Close readings uncover fresh insights into these authors and their works, including Frankenstein, the most familiar of Romantic texts.

Revising current thinking about periodisation, the authors explore how the Romantic poetics of time bears witness to the ruptures and dislocations at work within chronological time. They consider an array of topics, such as ecological time, futurity, operatic time, or the a-temporality of Venice. As well as surveying the Romantic canon’s evolution over time, these essays approach it as a phenomenon unfolding across national borders. Romantic authors are compared with American or European counterparts including Beethoven, Irving, Nietzsche and Beckett.

Romanticism and Time will be of great value to literary scholars and students working in Romantic Studies. It will be of further interest to philosophers and historians working on the connections between philosophy, history and literature during the nineteenth century.



Publié par
Date de parution 10 mars 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781800640740
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

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Romanticism and Time

Romanticism and Time
Literary Temporalities
Edited by Sophie Laniel-Musitelli and Céline Sabiron
© 2021 Sophie Laniel-Musitelli and Céline Sabiron. Copyright of individual chapters is maintained by the chapter’s author.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work; to adapt the work and to make commercial use of the work providing attribution is made to the authors (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Attribution should include the following information:
Sophie Laniel-Musitelli and Céline Sabiron (eds), Romanticism and Time . Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2021.
Copyright and permissions for the reuse of many of the images included in this publication differ from the above. This information is provided in the captions and in the list of illustrations.
In order to access detailed and updated information on the license, please visit Further details about CC BY licenses are available at
All external links were active at the time of publication unless otherwise stated and have been archived via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at
Digital material and resources associated with this volume are available at
Every effort has been made to identify and contact copyright holders and any omission or error will be corrected if notification is made to the publisher.
This book has been published with the support of the Institut Universitaire de France. Univ. Lille, ULR 4O74—CECILLE—Centre d’Études en Civilisations, Langues et Lettres Étrangères, F-59000 Lille, France.

ISBN Paperback: 978-1-80064-071-9
ISBN Hardback: 978-1-80064-072-6
ISBN Digital (PDF): 978-1-80064-073-3
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 978-1-80064-074-0
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 978-1-80064-075-7
ISBN Digital (XML): 978-1-80064-076-4
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0232
Cover Image: J.M.W Turner, Ancient Italy— Ovid Banished from Rome (1838). Wikimedia, Cover Design by Anna Gatti.

I ntroduction: The Times of Romanticism
Sophie Laniel-Musitelli and Céline Sabiron
Section I: Restoration, Revival, and Revolution across Romantic Europe 
‘Future Restoration’ 
Paul Hamilton
‘Anthropocene Temporalities and British Romantic Poetry’ 
Evan Gottlieb
‘Beethoven: Revolutionary Transformations’
Gregory Dart  
Section II: Romantic Conceptions of Time
‘The Temporality of the Soul: Immanent Conceptions of Time in Wordsworth and Byron’
Ralf Haekel
‘“Footing slow across a silent plain”: Time and Walking in Keatsian Poetics’
Oriane Monthéard
Section III: The Poetics of Time 
‘Contracting Time: John Clare’s The Shepherd’s Calendar ’ 
Lily Dessau
‘Book-Time in Charles Lamb and Washington Irving’ 
Matthew Redmond
‘“a disciple of Albertus Magnus [...] in the eighteenth century”: Anachronism and Anachrony in  Frankenstein ’ 
Anne Rouhette
Section IV: Persistence and Afterlives
‘Heaps of Time in Beckett and Shelley’
Laura Quinney
‘“Thy Wreck a Glory”: Venice, Subjectivity, and Temporality in Byron and Shelley and the Post-Romantic Imagination’
Mark Sandy  
Section V: Romanticism and Periodisation
‘Romanticism and Periodisation: A Roundtable’
David Duff, Nicholas Halmi, Laurent Folliot, Martin Procházka, and Fiona Stafford
List of Contributors
List of Figures

This book originates from an international conference on ‘Romanticism and Time’ held at the Université de Lille in November 2018 and organised jointly by the French Society for the Study of British Romanticism (SERA) and the Universités de Lille and Lorraine. Our warm thanks go to the SERA, who set this project in motion, and to the scientific committee of the Romanticism and Time conference, Caroline Bertonèche, Mathieu Duplay, Thomas Dutoit, Jean-Marie Fournier, and Marc Porée, for their guidance. We are grateful to our institutions, the Université de Lille and the Université de Lorraine, and, in particular, to our research centres CÉCILLE 1 and IDEA 2 , who supported the project from the start. We are particularly thankful to Marie-France Pilarski and Bruno Legrand (Université de Lille) for their invaluable help throughout the project and to Isabelle Gaudy-Campbell (Université de Lorraine) for welcoming this project, as well as for her trust and support.
We are also grateful to Nicholas Roe and Ann Winnicombe for granting us permission to reprint a revised version of section II from Mark Sandy’s article in the Romanticism online issue on ‘Light’ (22. 3. 2016: ). We would also like to thank Sarah Wootton for permission to reprint revised parts of Mark Sandy’s chapter from Venice and the Cultural Imagination (Abingdon and New York: Pickering & Chatto, 2012) as well as Kostas Boyiopoulos and Michael Shallcross for permission to reprint revised sections of Mark Sandy’s essay in Aphoristic Modernity: 1880 to the Present (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020). The research for Martin Procházka’s contribution was supported by the European Regional Development Fund Project ‘Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World’ (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/ 0000734). We are deeply thankful to the Institut Universitaire de France who supported the Romanticism and Time conference and this publication.
Finally, we would like to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to our contributors for committing their considerable talent, energy, and enthusiasm to this project.

1 Univ. Lille, ULR 4074 – CECILLE – Centre d’Études en Civilisations, Langues et Lettres Étrangères, F-59000 Lille, France.

2 Univ. Lorraine, UR 2338 – IDEA – Interdisciplinarité Dans les Études Anglophones, F-54000 Nancy, France.

Introduction: The Times of Romanticism
Sophie Laniel-Musitelli 1 and Céline Sabiron 2

© Sophie Laniel-Musitelli and Céline Sabiron, CC BY 4.0 ‘Eternity is in love with the productions of time’. 3
In this volume, we have decided to take Blake’s aphorism as an invitation to see Romantic writing as a ‘production of time’; to look for the work of time within Romantic literature. One of the aims of this collection is to understand Romanticism as the product of its own time, in its ability to reflect history and in the emergence of its specific poetics through time. Blake’s words can also be read as a meditation on poetics unfolding ‘in time’: on poetic form as the product of rhyme and rhythm. Yet, if we attend to the reversibility that characterises Blake’s ‘Proverbs of Hell’, this aphorism also offers a vision of Romanticism as an active ‘production of time’, not only registering the passing of time but also shaping conceptions of time and making history. Romantic writing then also appears as an art of time, creating new representations of temporal phenomena and generating new modes of time-consciousness. The contributions in this collection, which includes a selection of revised papers from the ‘Romanticism and Time’ conference as well as specially commissioned essays, 4 are thus held together by the common ambition to study Romantic writing as ‘authentically temporal’: 5 as a process in time that displays a form of agency over time.
This collection explores the ways in which British Romantic literature creates its own sense of time, from the end of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century, from William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelley, to John Clare and Samuel Rogers, raising the question of the evolution of the Romantic canon over time. The presence of poets such as Clare and Rogers, who eluded academia’s field of vision for so long, exposes our own temporal locatedness as academics. It gestures towards the writers who still elude that field of vision and towards those who are surreptitiously drifting out of it. The essays are bound by a common approach to the creative relations Romanticism entertains with the notion of time, with an emphasis on poetry. 6 It aims at offering a reflection on the role of poetic writing as a mode of perception of time. The Romantics explored the possibilities opened up by poetry as a form of time, as experiences of time were reflected but also took shape within poetic forms.
Nevertheless, t

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