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Romantic Literature - Oakland Campus

Find resources related to Romantic Literature on this guide.


Welcome to the Romantic Literature Guide!  This guide is to help you find useful resources related to Romantic literature, including books, ebooks, articles, and databases.  Please be sure to check out the English Department Program homepage if you are interested in learning more about this area of study as well. 

According to Encyclopædia Britannica,

  • "Pre-Romanticism is marked by a new appreciation of the medieval romance, from which the Romantic movement derives its name. The romance was a tale or ballad of chivalric adventure whose emphasis on individual heroism and on the exotic and the mysterious was in clear contrast to the elegant formality and artificiality of prevailing Classical forms of literature
  • This new interest in relatively unsophisticated but overtly emotional literary expressions of the past was to be a dominant note in Romanticism.
  • Romanticism in English literature began in the 1790s with the publication of the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth’s ‘Preface’ to the second edition (1800) of Lyrical Ballads, in which he described poetry as ‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,’ became the manifesto of the English Romantic movement in poetry.
  • William Blake was the third principal poet of the movement’s early phase in England. The first phase of the Romantic movement in Germany was marked by innovations in both content and literary style and by a preoccupation with the mystical, the subconscious, and the supernatural.
  • The second phase of Romanticism, comprising the period from about 1805 to the 1830s, was marked by a quickening of cultural nationalism and a new attention to national origins, as attested by the collection and imitation of native folklore, folk ballads and poetry, folk dance and music, and even previously ignored medieval and Renaissance works.
  • The revived historical appreciation was translated into imaginative writing by Sir Walter Scott, who is often considered to have invented the historical novel.
  • At about this same time English Romantic poetry had reached its zenith in the works of John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • A notable by-product of the Romantic interest in the emotional were works dealing with the supernatural, the weird, and the horrible, as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and works by C.R. Maturin, the Marquis de Sade, and E.T.A. Hoffmann."

English Department Literature Program

Please review the English Department's Literature Program page to find out more what they offer in their undergraduate and graduate tracks.  This page is also updated with projects and collaborative works, as well as news and events offered through the department.

Related Courses

Some potential courses for those interested in Romantic literature include:


  • 19th Century British Literature
  • Topics in British Literature
  • The Gothic Imagination
  • The Romantic Period
  • Englightenment to Revolution


  • Ethics and Literature
  • History of Rhetoric: Figurative Language
  • Literacy and Literature in the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Topics in 19th Century Culture

English Faculty with Romantic Literature Interests

Don Bialostosky is a Professor in the Composition: Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric group who is also active in the literature program. He received his PhD in English in 1977 from the University of Chicago.

Research and Publications

He is the author of a long list of chapters and articles on the Romantics, with particular attention to Wordsworth and Coleridge, and on pedagogy, rhetoric, and dialogics.

He is the author of two books, Making Tales: The Poetics of Wordsworth's Narrative Experiments (U of Chicago P, 1984) and Wordsworth, Dialogics, and the Practice of Criticism Cambridge UP 1992). He is co-editor of the collection, Rhetorical Traditions and British Romantic Literature (Indiana UP, 1995). He has been a leading figure in thinking through the uses and consequences of the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, especially with reference to pedagogy, composition, and rhetoric.

His current projects include an introduction to poetry entitled “How to Play a Poem” and a collection of essays on Bakhtin and rhetoric.

Troy Boone is a specialist in Victorian studies whose areas of scholarly interest include ecocriticism, children’s literature, imperialism and literature, and the gothic.  He is currently completing a book titled Victorian Ecology, the Brontës, and the North of England, which offers an interdisciplinary analysis of the representation of wilderness, industrialization, and regionalism in British writing of the nineteenth century.  He is also at work on a study of middle-class downward mobility in British children’s literature and culture; a version of a chapter on Kenneth Grahame, Edith Nesbit, and machine culture has been published in the journal Children’s Literature.  He has begun a study of the genre of ecohorror.

His first book, Youth of Darkest England: Working-Class Children at the Heart of Victorian Empire, was published by Routledge in 2005.  He has also published articles on such topics as Bram Stoker and fin-de-siecle decadence; Victorian tourist guidebooks; Joseph Conrad and the Titanic disaster; the Marquis de Sade and romantic-era discourses on sexuality; Bernard Shaw and the Salvation Army; Daniel Defoe and the origins of gothic fiction; Mark Twain's detective fictions, Girl Scout handbooks, and the Nancy Drew mysteries.

His next article publication will be “Early Dickens and Ecocriticism: The Social Novelist and the Nonhuman" (forthcoming 2015).

Thora Brylowe earned her Ph.D. in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University and then taught for a year at Trinity College in Hartford before joining the faculty at Pitt. Her research interests center on British eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century print culture and writing about the arts; she is especially interested in connections between editing, collecting, print technology, early copyright law, and the history of authorship. She is currently at work on a book-length study entitled Print, Paint, Poem: The Sister Arts as Cultural Practice, which looks at crosscurrents in the fields of visual art and literary production, from the establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts in England through the “crisis in the arts” just after the turn of the nineteenth century. She is also co-editing a book of scholarly essays that analyze the history, politics, and uses of the literary anthology. Her teaching interests include British eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, history of the book, word/image relationships, William Blake, Shakespeare and Shakespeare editing, tragedy, and the history of authorship.


Research & Publications

"Of Gothic Architects and Grecian Rods: William Blake, Antiquarianism and the History of Art" Romanticsim. 2012.

"Two Kinds of Collections: Sir William Hamilton's Vases, Real and Represented" Eighteenth-Century Life. 2008

Stephen L. Carr works on issues of literacy, instruction, the history of the book, and various figures in literature, letters, and the arts across the 18th and 19th centuries.

He recently coauthored a book with Jean Ferguson Carr (University of Pittsburgh) and Lucille Schultz (University of Cincinnati) entitled Archives of Instruction: Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics, Readers, and Composition Books in the United States (Southern Illinois Press, 2005). “The Circulation of Blair’s Lectures” appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly in 2002.