The Domestication of Genius

Author: Julian North
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199571988
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book is about how biography first developed as a popular form, and how it shaped the reputations of the early nineteenth-century Romantic poets. It focuses on the first-published biographies of six major Romantic poets: Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon published from the 1820s, by Thomas Moore, Mary Shelley, Thomas De Quincey, and others. Biography was an influential transmitter of the myth of 'the Romantic poet', asthe self-creating, masculine genius, but it also posed one of the first important challenges to that myth. By revealing their subjects' often scandalous domestic lives, biographers gave readers anintimate view of the private weaknesses of these writers - including failures in domestic responsibility that were often seen as indicative of their inattention to the needs of the reader. The Domestication of Geniusis the most comprehensive account to date of the shaping of the Romantic poets by biography in the nineteenth-century.