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1 Hawthorne POET- CRITICISM

Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry's Greatest Generation

by

Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry's Greatest Generation Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective—celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism.

 The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelleys stepsister and Byrons mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunts botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances—as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the mens philosophies.

In Young Romantics, Daisy Hay follows the groups exploits, from its inception in Hunts prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelleys premature death in 1822. It is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship, all of which were played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity.

Daisy Hay recently completed a doctorate in English Literature from New Hall, Cambridge. She has written for academic journals and literary magazines such as the European Romatnic Review, the Times Literary Supplement and Slightly Foxed. She lives in London.

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective—recounting their journey for individuality and political radicalism.

The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures, including stepsisters, mistresses, musicians, painters, and other writers. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances—as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the mens philosophies.

Daisy Hay follows the groups exploits, from its inception in Hunts prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelleys premature death in 1822. Played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity, Young Romantics is a tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship.

“[Hays] interweaves a group biography of the later Romantics—Byron, Keats, Leigh Hunt, the Shelleys—with an extended argument that they not only influenced one another but were preoccupied by (if ambivalent about) the very idea of sociability. This argument she makes persuasively enough . . . But its as a biographer pure and simple that Hay shines . . . She is a skilled and sure-­footed chronicler. In firm, clear, often elegant prose, she narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822, when Shelley drowned near Livorno, Italy. She also more briefly considers the aftermath of that tragedy; Byrons death in Greece in 1824; the later lives of the remaining figures; and, finally, the struggle over the legacies of Shelley and Byron waged by Hunt and other memoirists. Moving swiftly and purposefully, her story has no longueurs whatsoever, nor even a single lurching transition; it represents a triumph of artful selection and synthesis. If you want to read a single book of modest length on the lives . . . of the later Romantics, this might very well be the one. [She] approaches all her characters, men and women alike, with just the right blend of detachment and sympathy. Yet by concentrating so steadily on their relationships, she inevitably draws attention to the imbalances and (as Clairmont insisted) cruelties within them. Her book winds up being as much a study of domestic arrogance as an exploration of friendship . . . However tormented, this episode remains one of the most riveting in literary history, an operatic tale brimming with color and variety and passion. To hear it told so nimbly and concisely is to be helplessly swept up into it all once again.”—Ben Downing, The New York Times

"By assembling a great cast and exploring their high dramas, the author has given us a feast of a book."—Edna O'Brien

"The originality of this engrossing narrative comes from Daisy Hay's unusual focus on the passionate allegiances and literary influences between her characters. With great skill she weaves in and out of the lives of these poets, novelists, and philosophers, their husbands, wives, lovers, and children, exploring the dual nature of the creative impulse, its individuality, and the stimulus of kindred spirits. It is a most impressive achievement."—Michael Holroyd

"This erudite volume brings the second-generation Romantics entertainingly and vividly to life."—Duncan Wu

"A prosopography of Keats, Shelley, Byron and others. Successful biographers must balance density of detail with narrative flow. Cambridge-educated Hay adds the further challenge of documenting not one life, but those of several friends and acquaintances within the admittedly narrow social milieu of the so-called 'Young Romantics.' Her thesis concerns the impact of a close circle of friends upon the work that these young talents produced. True to the group's reputation, their lives involved enough wild abandon, steamy liaisons, elopements, intrigue, incest, love triangles, illegitimate children and passionate death to fill the pages of several novels. Though familiar and less-familiar characters move in and out of the chronological narrative, Hay spends the most time on the exploits of Shelley and Mary Godwin, whom the reckless poet whisked away in scandal while he was still married to another woman, and their entourage. This approach suggests that an artist's leisure-class coterie-particularly in the early 19th century, when sociability was discussed and pursued as an art in itself-influenced, nurtured and challenged his or her work in significant ways . . . [Hay] weaves a complex background of what was going on when many of these works were written and how those personal events worked their way into the poetry. Some of Shelley's most beloved poems, for instance, weren't penned on a bleak promontory but during spirited sonnet contests with his quill-wielding cronies . . . Hay offers an engaging model for biographical study, enabling heretofore unacknowledged players in the drama of the Young Romantic poets' lives to have their say. Intelligent and intricate."—Kirkus Reviews

"Long before the lost generation or '60s rock poets, there was a 19th-century movable feast of interlinked English poets and thinkers that was even more fascinating and combustible. Cambridge Ph.D. Hay, in her first book, delves with scholarly relish into the unorthodox lifestyles and fluid (including quasi-incestuous and incestuous) households of several key figures: vegetarians Percy and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Mary Shelley's stepsister Jane, aka Claire Clairmont; Lord Byron; John Keats; and the little-read today but central revolutionary, Leigh Hunt. The key years are 1813 to 1822, effectively terminating with Shelley's drowning at sea not long after Keats's death from tuberculosis. New here is Claire's autobiographical fragment—archived in the New York Public Library—in which she rakes the libertarians Shelley and Byron, whose daughter she bore, over her emotional coals. Well handled is the so-called summer of Frankenstein, and how, over the nine years Hay chronicles, the boundaries of monogamy were pushed to the breaking point."—Publishers Weekly

"The lives of the second generation of English Romantic writers—Leigh Hunt, Percy and Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats—are the stuff of melodramatic romance and legend: antiestablishment rebels; successions of wives, mistresses, and lovers; the struggle for recognition; exile; and early death. Following a broadly chronological movement, this debut by Hay shifts back and forth among the circles of friends and families of these writers, from the imprisonment of Hunt to the death of Shelley and its aftermath. While Hay breaks no new ground, Young Romantics is a vigorously written, well-informed, and popularizing page-turner . . . [A]ccessible . . . and highly recommended for the general reader interested in the lives behind the poems."—T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, Library Journal

Review:

"Long before the lost generation or '60s rock poets, there was a 19th-century movable feast of interlinked English poets and thinkers that was even more fascinating and combustible. Cambridge Ph.D. Hay, in her first book, delves with scholarly relish into the unorthodox lifestyles and fluid (including quasi-incestuous and incestuous) households of several key figures: vegetarians Percy and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Mary Shelley's stepsister Jane, aka Claire Clairmont; Lord Byron; John Keats; and the little-read today but central revolutionary, Leigh Hunt. The key years are 1813 to 1822, effectively terminating with Shelley's drowning at sea not long after Keats's death from tuberculosis. New here is Claire's autobiographical fragment — archived in the New York Public Library — in which she rakes the libertarians Shelley and Byron, whose daughter she bore, over her emotional coals. Well handled is the so-called summer of Frankenstein, and how, over the nine years Hay chronicles, the boundaries of monogamy were pushed to the breaking point. Although Hay is passionate about her subject, her writing is unexceptional and monotone: she sticks to the descriptive rather than the analytic. 16 pages of b&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Hay (English literature, St. Antony's College, Oxford, UK) traces the interconnected stories of young Romantic writers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and journalist Leigh Hunt, who were characterized by their youth, idealism, and passionate engagement with politics, art, and intellectual adventure. They include Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, and lesser known figures like Mary Shelley's stepsister and Byron's mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunt's botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. Focusing on the relationship between them, rather than the myth of the isolated poet, she documents the group and their changing relationships from its inception in Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelley's death in 1822. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective--celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism.

The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelley's stepsister and Byron's mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunt's botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances--as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the men's philosophies.

In Young Romantics, Daisy Hay follows the group's exploits, from its inception in Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelley's premature death in 1822. It is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship, all of which were played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity.

Daisy Hay recently completed a doctorate in English Literature from New Hall, Cambridge. She has written for academic journals and literary magazines such as the European Romatnic Review, the Times Literary Supplement and Slightly Foxed. She lives in London.

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective--recounting their journey for individuality and political radicalism.

The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures, including stepsisters, mistresses, musicians, painters, and other writers. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances--as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the men's philosophies.

Daisy Hay follows the group's exploits, from its inception in Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelley's premature death in 1822. Played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity, Young Romantics is a tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship.

Hays] interweaves a group biography of the later Romantics--Byron, Keats, Leigh Hunt, the Shelleys--with an extended argument that they not only influenced one another but were preoccupied by (if ambivalent about) the very idea of sociability. This argument she makes persuasively enough . . . But it's as a biographer pure and simple that Hay shines . . . She is a skilled and sure--footed chronicler. In firm, clear, often elegant prose, she narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822, when Shelley drowned near Livorno, Italy. She also more briefly considers the aftermath of that tragedy; Byron's death in Greece in 1824; the later lives of the remaining figures; and, finally, the struggle over the legacies of Shelley and Byron waged by Hunt and other memoirists. Moving swiftly and purposefully, her story has no longueurs whatsoever, nor even a single lurching transition; it represents a triumph of artful selection and synthesis. If you want to read a single book of modest length on the lives . . . of the later Romantics, this might very well be the one. She] approaches all her characters, men and women alike, with just the right blend of detachment and sympathy. Yet by concentrating so steadily on their relationships, she inevitably draws attention to the imbalances and (as Clairmont insisted) cruelties within them. Her book winds up being as much a study of domestic arrogance as an exploration of friendship . . . However tormented, this episode remains one of the most riveting in literary history, an operatic tale brimming with color and variety and passion. To hear it told so nimbly and concisely is to be helplessly swept up into it all once again.--Ben Downing, The New York Times

By assembling a great cast and exploring their high dramas, the author has given us a feast of a book.--Edna O'Brien

The originality of this engrossing narrative comes from Daisy Hay's unusual focus on the passionate allegiances and literary influences between her characters. With great skill she weaves in and out of the lives of these poets, novelists, and philosophers, their husbands, wives, lovers, and children, exploring the dual nature of the creative impulse, its individuality, and the stimulus of kindred spirits. It is a most impressive achievement.--Michael Holroyd

This erudite volume brings the second-generation Romantics entertainingly and vividly to life.--Duncan Wu

A prosopography of Keats, Shelley, Byron and others. Successful biographers must balance density of detail with narrative flow. Cambridge-educated Hay adds the further challenge of documenting not one life, but those of several friends and acquaintances within the admittedly narrow social milieu of the so-called 'Young Romantics.' Her thesis concerns the impact of a close circle of friends upon the work that these young talents produced. True to the group's reputation, their lives involved enough wild abandon, steamy liaisons, elopements, intrigue, incest, love triangles, illegitimate children and passionate death to fill

Synopsis:

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective—celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism. The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelleys stepsister and Byrons mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunts botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances. “In firm, clear, often elegant prose, [Daisy Hay] narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822” (Ben Downing, The New York Times Book Review).

     Young Romantics is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship played out against a backdrop of political turbulence and intense literary creativity. “Hays account of the passionate and messy lives of her Romantics is vivid, picturesque, and finely told” (Richard Eder, The Boston Globe).

About the Author

Daisy Hay recently completed a doctorate in English literature at Cambridge. She lives in London. Young Romantics is her first book.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374123758
Subtitle:
The Shelleys, Byron, and Other Tangled Lives
Author:
Hay, Daisy
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Romanticism -- Great Britain.
Subject:
English poetry -- 19th century.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110329
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustration
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Product details 384 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374123758 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Long before the lost generation or '60s rock poets, there was a 19th-century movable feast of interlinked English poets and thinkers that was even more fascinating and combustible. Cambridge Ph.D. Hay, in her first book, delves with scholarly relish into the unorthodox lifestyles and fluid (including quasi-incestuous and incestuous) households of several key figures: vegetarians Percy and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Mary Shelley's stepsister Jane, aka Claire Clairmont; Lord Byron; John Keats; and the little-read today but central revolutionary, Leigh Hunt. The key years are 1813 to 1822, effectively terminating with Shelley's drowning at sea not long after Keats's death from tuberculosis. New here is Claire's autobiographical fragment — archived in the New York Public Library — in which she rakes the libertarians Shelley and Byron, whose daughter she bore, over her emotional coals. Well handled is the so-called summer of Frankenstein, and how, over the nine years Hay chronicles, the boundaries of monogamy were pushed to the breaking point. Although Hay is passionate about her subject, her writing is unexceptional and monotone: she sticks to the descriptive rather than the analytic. 16 pages of b&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective--celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism.

The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelley's stepsister and Byron's mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunt's botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances--as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the men's philosophies.

In Young Romantics, Daisy Hay follows the group's exploits, from its inception in Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelley's premature death in 1822. It is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship, all of which were played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity.

Daisy Hay recently completed a doctorate in English Literature from New Hall, Cambridge. She has written for academic journals and literary magazines such as the European Romatnic Review, the Times Literary Supplement and Slightly Foxed. She lives in London.

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective--recounting their journey for individuality and political radicalism.

The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures, including stepsisters, mistresses, musicians, painters, and other writers. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances--as did their chaotic family arrangements, which often left the young women, despite their talents, facing the consequences of the men's philosophies.

Daisy Hay follows the group's exploits, from its inception in Hunt's prison cell in 1813 to its disintegration after Shelley's premature death in 1822. Played out against a background of political turbulence and intense literary creativity, Young Romantics is a tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship.

Hays] interweaves a group biography of the later Romantics--Byron, Keats, Leigh Hunt, the Shelleys--with an extended argument that they not only influenced one another but were preoccupied by (if ambivalent about) the very idea of sociability. This argument she makes persuasively enough . . . But it's as a biographer pure and simple that Hay shines . . . She is a skilled and sure--footed chronicler. In firm, clear, often elegant prose, she narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822, when Shelley drowned near Livorno, Italy. She also more briefly considers the aftermath of that tragedy; Byron's death in Greece in 1824; the later lives of the remaining figures; and, finally, the struggle over the legacies of Shelley and Byron waged by Hunt and other memoirists. Moving swiftly and purposefully, her story has no longueurs whatsoever, nor even a single lurching transition; it represents a triumph of artful selection and synthesis. If you want to read a single book of modest length on the lives . . . of the later Romantics, this might very well be the one. She] approaches all her characters, men and women alike, with just the right blend of detachment and sympathy. Yet by concentrating so steadily on their relationships, she inevitably draws attention to the imbalances and (as Clairmont insisted) cruelties within them. Her book winds up being as much a study of domestic arrogance as an exploration of friendship . . . However tormented, this episode remains one of the most riveting in literary history, an operatic tale brimming with color and variety and passion. To hear it told so nimbly and concisely is to be helplessly swept up into it all once again.--Ben Downing, The New York Times

By assembling a great cast and exploring their high dramas, the author has given us a feast of a book.--Edna O'Brien

The originality of this engrossing narrative comes from Daisy Hay's unusual focus on the passionate allegiances and literary influences between her characters. With great skill she weaves in and out of the lives of these poets, novelists, and philosophers, their husbands, wives, lovers, and children, exploring the dual nature of the creative impulse, its individuality, and the stimulus of kindred spirits. It is a most impressive achievement.--Michael Holroyd

This erudite volume brings the second-generation Romantics entertainingly and vividly to life.--Duncan Wu

A prosopography of Keats, Shelley, Byron and others. Successful biographers must balance density of detail with narrative flow. Cambridge-educated Hay adds the further challenge of documenting not one life, but those of several friends and acquaintances within the admittedly narrow social milieu of the so-called 'Young Romantics.' Her thesis concerns the impact of a close circle of friends upon the work that these young talents produced. True to the group's reputation, their lives involved enough wild abandon, steamy liaisons, elopements, intrigue, incest, love triangles, illegitimate children and passionate death to fill

"Synopsis" by ,

Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective—celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism. The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelleys stepsister and Byrons mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunts botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances. “In firm, clear, often elegant prose, [Daisy Hay] narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822” (Ben Downing, The New York Times Book Review).

     Young Romantics is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship played out against a backdrop of political turbulence and intense literary creativity. “Hays account of the passionate and messy lives of her Romantics is vivid, picturesque, and finely told” (Richard Eder, The Boston Globe).

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