Teaching Romanticism should be a joy, because it should be about joy, which means that when it’s not a joy, the sense of desolation is palpable.
But look – there on my page – is Romanticism as a teaching specialism.
These days, too many teachable authors are selected on the basis of what will make for a marketable module descriptor. How else to explain the fact that Frankenstein is now regarded as a masterpiece of Romantic Literature when it’s not even Mary Shelley’s best novel? The fact is that Frankenstein is easy to sell and sell quickly. Students feel they know in advance what they’d be getting when they plump for Frankenstein.
Nobody knows what’s in store for them when they start reading Wordsworth’s Prelude.
Wordsworth cannot be reduced to a module descriptor – indeed the whole point of Wordsworth is the kind of infinite yearning and deferral of…
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