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Part 1: The Spirit of the Public Journals, 1797-1825

This series commences with coverage of a fascinating but relatively untapped source for Romantic Studies - the long-running The Spirit of the Public Journals, founded and edited in 1797 by Stephen Jones and printed for him by Sherwood, Jones & Co in London. Later taken over by C M Westmacott (who employed George Cruikshank as illustrator), this journal took it upon itself to offer 'an impartial selection of the most exquisite essays and jeux d'espirits' of the age - and its success is reflected in its longevity.

Highlights include:

  • Packed with essays, anecdotes, poetry and polemic culled from the pages of 'public journals' as diverse as The Morning Chronicle and The Anti-Galician.
  • Offers scholars the opportunity to dip into a wide range of periodicals in one go - helping to identify the preoccupations of the age and to gauge contemporary taste.
  • Major authors such as Coleridge, Leigh Hunt, Wordsworth and Southey are all well represented.
  • Opens up of a huge body of writing by lesser-known and anonymous writers; helping scholars to place the well-known verse of leading writers in a broader context.
  • Many significant contributions by women writers, which will expand our knowledge of their output.

Themes such as the romance of the landscape, sensibility, Gothicism, Orientalism, natural history writing, spiritualism and war poetry can be explored against a much larger backdrop.

Each volume runs to between 400 and 600 pages and contains about 150 individual items on topics such as the death of Pitt, the role of the Medical Debating Society, terrorist novel writing The Lake Poets, The Picturesque and Landscape, and The Dromedary and the Rhinoceros. These articles allow us to feel the pulse of the Romantic era and understand its concerns.

Digital Guide
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