PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This review is taken from PN Review 12, Volume 6 Number 4, March - April 1980.

ROMANTIC ROOTS Brian Hepworth, The Rise of Romanticism: Essential Texts (Carcanet) £7.90

Brian Hepworth's The Rise of Romanticism: Essential Texts is a critical anthology of texts which contributed to the growth of Romanticism. In it, excerpts from the works of relatively obscure writers such as Trapp, Burnet, Spence, Morgann and Hurd, find a place alongside those of Lowth, Burke, Hartley, Akenside, Addison and other respected theorists. The thought of those philosophical giants, Locke, Berkeley and Hume, is also represented. This catalogue of names reveals a curious disparity between the title and the contents of the book: we are promised texts pertaining to the rise of Romanticism-those we are given are exclusively concerned with the evolution of English Romanticism. With the exception of one passage taken from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, all the rest issue from the pens of Englishmen. This is a perfectly legitimate bias-what is disconcerting is Hepworth's failure to prepare the reader for it. This omission is bound to disorient us, distracting our attention, albeit temporarily, from the contents of the book, as we ponder the significance of the discrepancy. Is Hepworth assuming that the Romantic movement found its most complete expression in England, or that it can be reduced, without remainder to its English exponents? Clearly not. But it is unfortunate that we have to entertain this possibility until familiarity with the text reassures us that Hepworth may be guilty of an oversight-but he is not guilty of parochialism. Once we have resolved this tension we are able to attend more carefully to the contents of the ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image