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Constable’s Plenty

John Barrell, 15 August 1991

by Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams.
Tate Gallery, 544 pp., £45, June 1991, 1 85437 071 5
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Romatic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition 
by Jonathan Bate.
Routledge, 131 pp., £8.99, May 1991, 0 415 06116 4
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... is not much concerned to argue with his opponents (Marilyn Butler, Marjorie Levinson, Alan Liu, Jerome McGann, David Simpson), and if he does it is often a sign that he has missed the point. When Liu claims that the category ‘nature’ is always constituted in terms of a politics, Bate replies that the limitation of this view is that ‘not even the ...

Devouring the pangolin

John Sutherland, 25 October 1990

The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History 
by Robert Darnton.
Faber, 393 pp., £25, September 1990, 0 571 14423 3
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... or whatever) that produces the book. Revisionary bibliographers like Jerome McGann (who sees the text as an inherently collaborative production) and D.F. McKenzie (who has proposed a ‘sociology of the text’) come down firmly on Darnton’s side. From the prospectus, it looks very much as if the multi-volume History of the ...

The Italy of Human Beings

Frances Wilson: Felicia Hemans, 16 November 2000

Felicia Hemans: ‘Records of Woman’ with Other Poems 
edited by Paula Feldman.
Kentucky, 248 pp., £15.50, September 1999, 0 8131 0964 7
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... introduction to Records of Woman, Feldman agrees with other Romanticists such as Anne Mellor and Jerome McGann that Hemans ‘defies’, ‘undercuts’ and ‘criticises’ the feminine domestic ideal she appears to represent. In other words, she emerges from the 20th century less of a lady than was previously thought, and more of a poet. The 19 poems ...


Terry Eagleton: Lawrence Sanitised, 5 February 2004

D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Post-Coloniality and the Poetry of the Present 
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Oxford, 226 pp., £20, June 2003, 0 19 926052 4
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... This is a provocative notion, if hardly a novel one. Something like it can be found in the work of Jerome McGann. It is also to be found in the Marxist or deconstructive attempt to turn the poetic tapestry round in order to reveal the untidy mess of loose ends, frayed knots and cross-stitching which went into its weaving. But you cannot do any of this ...

Death in Greece

Marilyn Butler, 17 September 1981

Byron’s Letter and Journals. Vol. XI: For Freedom’s Battle 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 243 pp., £11.50, April 1981, 0 7195 3792 4
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Byron: The Complete Poetical Works 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 464 pp., £35, October 1980, 0 19 811890 2
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Red Shelley 
by Paul Foot.
Sidgwick, 293 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 283 98679 4
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Ugo Foscolo, Poet of Exile 
by Glauco Cambon.
Princeton, 360 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 691 06424 5
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... is far more extensive than any previous collection, has now covered Byron’s whole life. J.J. McGann’s complete edition of the poems is proceeding expeditiously: the three volumes to date include all the poems written before Byron left England in 1816, and Volume II has the whole of the masterpiece Childe Harold, including Cantos III and IV, which were ...

The Tangible Page

Leah Price: Books as Things, 31 October 2002

The Book History Reader 
edited by David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery.
Routledge, 390 pp., £17.99, November 2001, 0 415 22658 9
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Making Meaning: ‘Printers of the Mind’ and Other Essays 
by D.F. McKenzie, edited by Peter D. McDonald and Michael F. Suarez.
Massachusetts, 296 pp., £20.95, June 2002, 1 55849 336 0
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... to face down the difficulty of confronting literary theory with editorial practice come from Jerome McGann, whose chapter in Finkelstein and McCleery argues that the means by which literary works secure their effects are never purely linguistic. (The placement of the glosses in the margins of the 1816 version of ‘The Rime of the Ancient ...


Mark Ford: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, 19 June 2014

The Gorgeous Nothings 
by Emily Dickinson.
New Directions, 255 pp., £26.50, October 2013, 978 0 8112 2175 7
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The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping 
by Francis Nenik, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
Readux, 64 pp., £3, October 2013, 978 3 944801 00 1
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... Bingham’s ‘scraps’. This focus on poems, or drafts of poems, composed on envelopes fulfils McGann’s injunction to pay attention to Dickinson’s choice of paper; all these writings are in pencil, a pencil, Jen Bervin surmises in her introduction, that Dickinson may well have kept in the pocket of her famous white dress. Dickinson’s ‘one surviving ...


Marilyn Butler, 18 November 1982

The Trouble of an Index: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Vol. XII 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 166 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 7195 3885 8
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Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 404 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 7195 3974 9
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by Frederic Raphael.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 500 01278 4
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Byron’s Political and Cultural Influence in 19th-Century Europe: A Symposium 
edited by Paul Graham Trueblood.
Macmillan, 210 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 333 29389 4
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Byron and Joyce through Homer 
by Hermione de Almeida.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 333 30072 6
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Byron: A Poet Before His Public 
by Philip Martin.
Cambridge, 253 pp., £18.50, July 1982, 0 521 24186 3
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... as a craftsman? For Anglophone critics of Byron, led in our generation by Andrew Rutherford and Jerome McGann, reassurance comes with Don Juan. Here is a poem of the right length and range to be called major, written in a complex stanza and in a fascinating, difficult diversity of tones. For the American Hermione de Almeida, epic is a world form and to ...

Inspiration, Accident, Genius

Helen Vendler, 16 October 1997

by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 612 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780571172276
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... imposition of a specific political event on Keats’s later poetry is the assertion (initiated by Jerome McGann, and recently ratified by Nicholas Roe in The Culture of Dissent) that the shadow of the Peterloo Massacre (which occurred a month before the poem was written) hangs over the ode ‘To Autumn’. Even Motion falters before this ...


Cynthia Lawford: On Letitia Elizabeth Landon, 21 September 2000

... to wreak her vengeance upon herself, to refuse to live.’ In The Poetics of Sensibility (1996), Jerome McGann remarked that, as a young single woman and professional writer, ‘Landon had to negotiate her way with great care and deliberation’ in London society. ‘The consequence is a (socially) self-conscious style of writing that often ...

Touching and Being Touched

John Kerrigan: Valentine Cunningham, 19 September 2002

Reading after Theory 
by Valentine Cunningham.
Blackwell, 194 pp., £45, December 2001, 0 631 22167 0
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... the fact that the best work on bibliographical coding, on manuscript, print and mise-en-page (by Jerome McGann and others) has a theoretical cast. The deficiency is only too clear in his account of ‘This Living Hand’, a poem which is fully expressive only when read as a manuscript text. Many poems survive in holograph, but few are so concerned with ...

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