David Duff, ed. The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xxi + 792. 14 illus. B&W. £110.00. ISBN 978-0-19-966089-6

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


The Oxford Book of British Romanticism is an extraordinary achievement both in its planning and execution. Published as part of the invaluable Oxford Handbook series, this volume of over 700 pages boasts forty-six essays by experts in their specialist field concerned with aspects of what we collectively understand as ‘British Romanticism’, however contested that understanding might be. The Handbook is neatly divided into ten parts with sections detailing key subjects that enable some definition of this notoriously slippery term: ‘Historical Phases’; ‘Region and Nation’; ‘Hierarchies’; ‘Legislation’; ‘Cognition’; ‘Composition’; ‘Publication’; ‘Language’; ‘Aesthetics’; concluding with finally, ‘Import and Exports’. In many ways this volume sums up the collective endeavours, insights, and arguments of a generation or two of scholars of British Romanticism over perhaps forty years or so, now made available in this single volume. I suspect that most users of the volume will identify and sample the individual chapters in which they are interested, probably via the excellent Oxford Handbooks Online facility in combination with cognate databases such as Oxford Scholarly Editions Online and Oxford Scholarship Online all transforming the ways in which we teach and research. Few may read the whole volume from cover to cover sequentially, assessing it as a complete work, as this reviewer, and forming a view of how the collection is mapping out the current field of British Romanticism and how this conceptualization reflects our general understanding of the state of studies of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature, art, and culture, in what we think of as the Romantic Period.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages3
JournalBARS Bulletin
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022


  • Romanticism

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