Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role

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Columbia University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 262 pages

Surprisingly little has been written about homosexuality in British Romantic writing, and, similarly, little discussion has emerged about homosexual themes in the lives and poetic careers of the major Romantics. In Romantic Genius, Andrew Elfenbein explores the correspondence between the stereotypes applied to the "genius" and those applied to the homosexual, showing the centrality of disreputable desires to the works of Romantic male authors -- from William Beckford to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to William Blake -- as well as to the writings of lesser-known but equally significant female authors of the period.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Effeminates Geniuses and Homosexuals
17
William Beckford and the Genius of Consumption
39
Cowper and the Rise of the Suburban
63
Anne Damers Sapphic Potential
91
The Poetry of Anne Bannerman
125
Genius and the Blakean Ridiculous
161
Christabel Pornography and Genius
177
Conclusion
252
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About the author (1999)

Charles Gore is an artist and lecturer in the History of African Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

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