Robert Duncan McColl, “Stirring Age: Scott, Byron and the Historical Romance”
English | ISBN: 1443874280 | 2015 | 260 pages | PDF | 1 MB

Comparisons of Scott and Byron, so natural to 19th century readers, are scarce nowadays. Using a variety of critical and philosophical vocabularies illustratively, though not dependently, this study provides a timely and original study of two giants of 19th century European literature engaged in an experimental, mutually-informing act of genre-splicing, seeking to return history and romance to what both perceived was their native complementarity. The book shows how both writers utilise historical examples to suggest the continuing relevance of romance models, and how they confront threats to that relevance, whether they derive from the linear conception of history or the 'romantic' misapprehension of it. The argument proceeds by examining those threats, and then weighing the revival of romance via, rather than contra, the historical.

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