Rhetorical Traditions and British Romantic Literature

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Don H. Bialostosky, Lawrence D. Needham
Indiana University Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 312 pages
So successful were the appeals to "genius" by the romantic poets that few critics since have paid much attention to the influence of rhetorical traditions on romantic expression. As the essays in this collection demonstrate, though the status of classical rhetoric declined during the nineteenth century, romantic genius did not sweep away rhetoric. Romantic writers drew upon a number of rhetorical traditions - sophistic, classical, biblical, and enlightenment - in the creation of their art, and interest in various aspects of the art of discourse remained strong. These essays - half of them commissioned for this volume - document the importance of these traditions in shaping the poetry, novels, and criticism of Coleridge, De Quincey, Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Austen, and Scott.

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Contents

The Method of The Friend
11
Comparing Power
28
De Quinceys Rhetoric of Display and Confessions
48
Romantic Prose and Classical Rhetoric
65
Wordsworths Cintra Tract
79
The Oratorical Pedlar
94
Wordsworths Poems in Two Volumes 1807 and
108
The Case for William Wordsworth
122
Prophetic Form
185
Robert Lowths Sacred Hebrew Poetry and the Oral
199
The New Rhetoric and Romantic Poetics
217
The Conversable World
233
Jeanie Deans and the Nature of True Eloquence
250
Appendix
265
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
281
CONTRIBUTORS
300

Romantic Aversions
149
Shelley and the Ciceronian Orator
167

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About the author (1995)

DON H. BIALOSTOSKY is Professor of English at Penn State University and author of Making Tales: The Poetics of Wordsworth's Narrative Experiments and Wordsworth, Dialogics, and the Practice of Criticism.
LAWRENCE D. NEEDHAM is Affiliate Scholar at Oberlin College and Assistant Professor of English at Lakeland Community College.

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