Lyric and Labour in the Romantic Tradition

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Lyric and Labour in the Romantic Tradition, first published in 1998, examines the legacy of Romantic poetics in the poetry produced in political movements during the nineteenth century. It argues that a communitarian tradition of poetry extending from the 1790s to the 1890s learned from and incorporated elements of Romantic lyricism, and produced an ongoing and self-conscious tradition of radical poetics. Showing how romantic lyricism arose as an engagement between the forces of reason and custom, Anne Janowitz examines the ways in which this Romantic dialectic infected the writings of political poets from Thomas Spence to William Morris. The book includes new readings of familiar Romantic poets including Wordsworth and Shelley, and investigates the range of poetic genres in the 1790s. In the case studies which follow, it examines relatively unknown Chartist and Republican poets such as Ernest Jones and W. J. Linton, showing their affiliation to the Romantic tradition, and making the case for the persistence of Romantic problematics in radical political culture.