Counterfactual Romanticism

Edited by Damian Walford Davies

Counterfactual Romanticism


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9141-8
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: September 2019
  • BIC Category: Literature, Europe, Literature: history & criticism, Literary theory, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, LITERARY CRITICISM / Gothic & Romance, LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / General, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism
  • Series: Interventions: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century


Innovatively extending counterfactual thought experiments from history and the social sciences to literary historiography, criticism and theory, Counterfactual Romanticism reveals the ways in which the shapes of Romanticism are conditioned by that which did not come to pass. Exploring various modalities of counterfactual speculation and inquiry across a range of Romantic-period authors, genres and concerns, this collection offers a radical new purchase on literary history, on the relationship between history and fiction, and on our historicist methods to date - and thus on the Romanticisms we (think we) have inherited.

Counterfactual Romanticism provides a ground-breaking method of re-reading literary pasts and our own reading presents; in the process, literary production, texts and reading practices are unfossilised and defamiliarised.


Introduction: Counterfactual Romanticism - Damian Walford Davies
1. 'The Object As In Itself It Really Is Not'. Counterfactual Romanticism and the Aesthetics of Contingency - Anne C. McCarthy
2. Door-to-door and Across-the-counter Factuals: History as Fashion, Furniture, Fraud, Forgery, Folklore and Fiction in the Romantic Onset of Modernity- Gary Kelly
3. The Possibilists: Romantic-Era Literary Forgery and British Alternative Pasts - Mary-Ann Constantine
4. Sophia Lee's The Recess and the Epistemology of the Counterfactual - Tilottama Rajan
5. Lord Byron Reads The Prelude - Kenneth R. Johnston
6. Counterfactual Obstetrics: Mary Wollstonecraft's Frankenstein - Damian Walford Davies
7. John Thelwall: A Counterfactual Ghost Story - Judith Thompson
8. Counterfactual Speculations in Late Romanticism: Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford
- Angela Esterhammer
9. Piratical Counterfactual, Piratical Counterfictional: From Misson to Melodrama - Manushag N. Powell
10. Romanticism and the (Counterfactual) Chinese Awakening - Peter J. Kitson
11. Counterfactual and Future Romanticisms: The Academy and The Canon- Edward Larrissy


Damian Walford Davies is Professor of English and Pro Vice-Chancellor (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) at Cardiff University

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