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Palgrave Macmillan

The Shelley-Byron Circle and the Idea of Europe

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  • © 2010


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About this book

This book investigates how Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and their circle understood the idea of Europe. What geographical, cultural, and ideological concepts did they associate with the term? What does this tell us about politics and identity in early nineteenth-century Britain? In addressing these questions, Paul Stock challenges prevailing nationalist interpretations of Romanticism, but without falling prey to imprecise alternative notions of cosmopolitanism or "world citizenship." Instead, his book accounts for both the transnational and the local in Romantic writing, reassessing the period in terms of more complex, multi-layered identity politics.

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Introduction

  2. Europe and the Universal Revolution: Percy Shelley’s Europe, 1817–22

  3. The System of Europe: Byron and European Politics, 1822–24


"Paul Stock's carefully researched and subtly argued book offers a timely reevaluation of ideas of Europe in the Romantic period with particular reference to the writings of Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Stock's alertness to the complexity of European politics between 1809 and 1824 makes for a richly original assessment of their poetry. In addition, he invites scholars and critics of Romanticism to interrogate the terminology of nationalism and cosmopolitanism and demonstrates the rewards of confronting the diverse and often contradictory constructions of Europe in this period." - Michael Rossington, Senior Lecturer in Romantic Literature, Newcastle University, UK

About the author

PAUL STOCK is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in History at LSE. He was previously Lecturer in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Culture and Literature at Birkbeck, and Teaching Fellow in European Studies at University College London, UK.

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