By James Treadwell
What did autobiography suggest to Romantic readers and writers? How do autobiographical texts of the interval mirror, convey, and negotiate those stipulations? Answering those questions and extra, James Treadwell examines a large choice of Romantic texts, with unmarried chapters dedicated to works by means of Coleridge, Byron, and Lamb. via retaining a continuing relation among the texts and their contexts, this booklet bargains the 1st right research of what's really intended through "Romantic autobiography."
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Additional info for Autobiographical Writing and British Literature, 1783-1834
It is a more tolerant standard, because it values the act of confession independently of the particular things confessed, and is therefore likely to welcome a wider range of autobiographical writing. Nevertheless, representing the autobiographical act as sublime Byronic self-revelation quietly ignores the gregarious interchange of curiosity and information among readers and writers. The article sees no tension between its lofty model of the genre and the kinds of ‘interest’ and ‘instruction’ readers are said to gain thereby, but—potentially at least— these are different ideas.
Like D’Israeli, Foster imagines autobiographical writing as a means of uncovering the nature of the individual. His Christian interpretation of the process acts analogously to D’Israeli’s literary evaluation: both are ways of imposing a standard of utility on a practice which otherwise seems to be an end in itself—in other words, ways of converting private experience into public value. Nevertheless, Foster dwells at far greater length than any of the other commentators—indeed, than any other writer of the period except Wordsworth—on the ‘strange emotion of curiosity’ (p.
Dodsley, 1791), 34; New Review, i. 374. 4 The critical history of autobiography since the fifties shows a persistent interest in Rousseau’s place as the father or founder of modern autobiography, and by extension (in some arguments) of modern conceptions of interiorized, autonomous selfhood. A good example from the early years of the serious academic study of the history of autobiography is John N. Morris, Versions of the Self (New York: Basic Books, 1966); see also Karl J. : University of Chicago Press, 1978), Heidi I.