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The revival of romance as a literary form and the imaginative impact of the French Revolution are acknowledged influences on English Romanticism, but their relationship has rarely been addressed. In this innovative study of the transformations of a genre, David Duff examines the paradox whereby the unstable visionary world of romance came to provide an apt language for the representation of revolution, and how the literary form was itself politicized in the period. Drawing on an extensive range of textual and visual sources, the author traces the ambivalent ideological overtones of the chivalric revival, the polemical appropriation of the language of romance in the pamphlet war of the 1790s, and the emergence of a radical cult of chivalry among the Hunt-Shelley circle in 1815-17.
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