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Literature of the Romantic Period

Field of Study Reading List

Students are expected to master the relevant secondary literature in the period specified as the field.


Baillie, Joanna, De Monfort (1800).
Beddoes, Thomas Lovell, Death's Jest-Book (1850).
Byron, George Gordon, Lord, Manfred (1817).
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Remorse (1812). 
Cowley, Hannah, The Belles' Strategem (1780).
Holcroft, Thomas, A Tale of Mystery (1802).
Inchbald, Elizabeth, Lovers' Vows (1798).
Lewis, Matthew Gregory, The Castle Spectre (1816).
Maturin, Charles, Bertram (1816).
Shelley, P.B., The Cenci (1820).
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, The School for Scandal (1777).
Wordsworth, William, The Borderers (1842).


Austen, Jane, any novel.
Beckford, William., Vathek (1786).
Brown, Charles Brockden, Edgar Huntly (1799)
Edgeworth, Maria, Castle Rackrent (1800).
Godwin, William, Caleb Williams (1794).
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, "Roger Malvin's Burial" (1832).
Hays, Mary, Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796) or The Victim of Prejudice (1799).
Hogg, James, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824).
Irving, Washington, "Rip Van Winkle" (1819).
Lewis, Matthew Gregory, The Monk (1796).
Maturin, Charles, Melmoth the Wanderer (1820).
Radcliffe, Ann, one of The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), The Italian (1797).
Scott, Walter, one of Waverley (1814), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819).
Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein (1818).
Smith, Charlotte, The Old Manor House (1794).
Wollstonecraft, Mary, The Wrongs of Woman (1798).


Baillie, Joanna, Introductory Discourse to Plays on the Passions (1798).
Burke, Edmund, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Letter to a Noble Lord (1796).
Byron, George Gordon, Lord, letters to: Lady Byron (8 February 1816), Augusta Leigh (18-29 September 1816), Douglas Kinnaird (26 October 1819), John Murray (16 February 1821), Percy Bysshe Shelley (26 April 1821).
Clarkson, Thomas, An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African (1786). 
Cobbett, William, "To Mr. Alderman Wood" (Political Register, December 1813), Rural Rides (4 December 1821).
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Biographia Literaria (1817).
De Quincey, Thomas, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821).
Equiano, Olaudah, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (1789).
Hays, Mary, Appeal to the Men of Great Britain on Behalf of Women (1798).
Hazlitt, William, "On Gusto" (1816), "My First Acquaintance with Poets" (1823), "Lord Byron" (1824).
Keats, John, letters to Benjamin Bailey (22 November 1817), J.H. Reynolds (22 November 1817), George and Tom Keats (27 December 1817), J.H. Reynolds (3 February 1818), J.H. Reynolds (3 May 1818), Richard Woodhouse (27 October 1818), George and Georgiana Keats (December 1818-January 1819), P.B. Shelley (16 August 1820).
Lamb, Charles, "On the Tragedies of Shakespeare" (1811), "Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago" (1821), "Dream-Children: A Reverie" (1823) .
More, Hannah, Village Politics. Addressed to All the Mechanics, Journeymen, and Day Labourers, in Great Britain. By Will Chip, a Country Carpenter (1792).
Paine, Thomas, The Age of Reason (1794).
Peacock, Thomas Love, "The Four Ages of Poetry" (1820).
Price, Richard, A Discourse on the Love of our Country (1789).
Prince, Mary, The History of Mary Prince (1831).
Shelley, Mary, "Giovanni Villani" (1823), "On Ghosts" (1824).
Shelley, P.B., A Defense of Poetry (1821).
Wollstonecraft, Mary, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark(1796)
Wordsworth, Dorothy, Alfoxden Journal (1798), Grasmere Journal (1800-03).
Wordsworth, William, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800).


Aikin, Lucy, Epistles on Women, Exemplifying Their Character and Condition in Various Ages and Nations. With Miscellaneous Poems (1810).
Baillie, Joanna, "A Winter Day" (1790), "Thunder" (1790), "A Mother to her Waking Infant" (1790), "A Child to his Sick Grandfather" (1790), "A Summer Evening's Meditation" (1792), "Thunder" (2nd version 1840), "Song, Woo'd and Married and A'" (1840)53. Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (Aikin), "The Mouse's Petition, Found in the Trap where he had been Confin'd all Night" (1773), "Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq. on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade" (1791), "Washing-Day" (1797), "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven. A Poem" (1812), "The Rights of Woman" (1825), "Inscription for an Ice-House" (1825).
Blake, William, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793), Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), America, a Prophecy (1793) or The French Revolution (1791), Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794), "The Mental Traveller," "The Crystal Cabinet," "Auguries of Innocence".
Blamire, Susanna, Stoklewath; or, The Cumbrian Village (1842).
Bloomfield, Robert, from The Farmer's Boy (1800), at least one part.

Burns, Robert, "To a Mouse, on Turning Her up in Her Nest, with the Plough" (1786), "To a Mountain-Daisy" (1786), "To a Louse" (1786), "John Barleycorn. A Ballad" (1787), "Tam o'Shanter. A Tale" (1791), "Bruce's Address to His Troops, at the Battle of Bannockburn" (1794), "For a' that and a' that" (1795), "Ae Fond Kiss," "A Red Red Rose," "Comin' thro' the Rye," "Holy Willie's Prayer" (1801), "Auld Lang Syne".

Byron, George Gordon, Lord, "She Walks in Beauty" (1815), "Fare Thee Well!" (1816), "Darkness" (1816), "Prometheus" (1816) Childe Harold's Pilgrimage 3 and 4 (1816, 1818), Beppo (1818), Don Juan (1818-1824).
Cary, Thomas, "Abram's Plains: A Poem" (1789).
Chatterton, Thomas, "The Storie of William Canynge" (1770), "On Happienesse, by William Canynge" (1770), "The Warre" (1789).
Clare, John, "The Nightingales Nest" (1835), "I Am" (1865), "Badger" (1920), "Quail's Nest" (1920), "Invitation to Eternity" (1920), "Clock-a-Clay" (1920).

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, "Fears in Solitude" (1798), "France. An Ode" (1798), "Frost at Midnight" (1798), "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" (1798), "The Nightingale" (1798), "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" (1800), "A Stranger Minstrel" (1801), "Christabel" (1816), "Kubla Khan" (1816), "The Pains of Sleep" (1816), "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (version with glosses, 1817), "Dejection: An Ode" (1817).

Cowley, Hannah, "To Della Crusca: The Pen"(1787), "To Della Crusca" ["I hate the tardy Elegiac lay"] (1787).
Cowper, William, "The Negro's Complaint" (1835-37), "Sweet Meat Has Sour Sauce" (1835-37), "The Cast-Away" (1803), "Sonnet, to William Wilberforce" (1803).
Crabbe, George, "Letter 22" ("Peter Grimes"), from "The Borough: A Poem, in Twenty-four Letters" (1810). 
Darwin, Erasmus, The Temple of Nature (1803).
Derozio, Henry, The Fakeer of Jungheera: A Metrical Tale (1828).

Freneau, Philip, "The Indian Burying Ground" (1795), "The Wild Honey Suckle" (1795), George the Third's Soliloquy" (1795), "To Sir Toby, a Sugar Planter in the Interior Parts of Jamaica" (1795).
Hemans, Felicia, The Forest Sanctuary (1825), "Casabianca" (1826), "Evening Prayer at a Girls' School" (1826), at least two poems from Records of Woman; with Other Poems (1828), "The Graves of a Household" (1828), "The Image in Lava" (1828).
Hone, William, The Political House That Jack Built (1819).

Keats, John, at least six sonnets, "La Belle Dame sans Mercy" (1820) "Lamia" (1820), "The Eve of St. Agnes" (1820), "Ode to a Nightingale" (1820), "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1820), "Ode to Psyche" (1820), "To Autumn" (1820), "Ode on Melancholy" (1820), "Hyperion: A Fragment" (1820), "Ode on Indolence" (1848), "The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream" (1819, 1856-57).

Lamb, Charles (1775-1834), "The Old Familiar Faces" (1798).
Landon, Letitia Elizabeth, The Improvisatrice (1824), "The Proud Ladye" (1825), "Love's Last Lesson" (1827), "Erinna" (1827), "Revenge" (1829), "Lines of Life" (1829), "Felicia Hemans" (1839), "On Wordsworth's Cottage, near Grasmere Lake" (1839).
Lloyd, Charles, "Lines to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin" (1798).
Merry, Robert, "The Adieu and Recall to Love" (1787), "To Anna Matilda" ["I know thee well, enchanting Maid"] (1787), "The Interview" (1789).

Moore, Thomas, "Oh! Breathe Not his Name" (1821), "The Harp that Once through Tara's Halls" (1821), "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" (1821), "The Minstrel Boy" (1821), "The Time I've Lost in Wooing" (1821).

More, Hannah, "The Bas-Bleu: Or, Conversation" (1787), "Slavery, A Poem" (1787), "Patient Joe or; the Newcastle Collier" (1795).
Robinson, Mary (Darby), "Ode to Beauty" (1791), "January, 1795" (1795), "The Haunted Beach" (1800), "The Negro Girl" (1800), "The Alien Boy" (1800), "The Camp" (1800), "A London Summer Morning" (1804), "To the Poet Coleridge" (1806), "The Savage of Aveyron" (1806).
Rogers, Samuel, "The Boy of Egremond" (1812).
Scott, Sir Walter, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805).

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, Alastor (1816), "Mont Blanc" (1817), "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" (1817), "Ozymandias" (1818), Prometheus Unbound(1820), "Ode to the West Wind" (1820), "To a Skylark" (1820), Adonais (1821), "The Triumph of Life" (1824), "The Masque of Anarchy. A Poem" (1832). 

Smith, Charlotte Turner, Sonnets 1, 32, and 35 from Elegiac Sonnets (1786), Sonnet 44 from the 5th ed. (1789), "Thirty-Eight" from the 6th ed. (1792), The Emigrants, A Poem in Two Books (1793).
Southey, Robert, "To Mary Wollstonecraft" (1797), "To The Genius of Africa" (1797), "The Widow"(1797), "The Idiot" (1798), "The Battle of Blenheim" (1800), "The Sailor Who Had Served in the Slave Trade" (1799), either Thalaba (1801)or The Curse of Kehama (1810).
Thelwall, John, "Stanzas, on Hearing for Certainty that we were to be Tried for High Treason" (1795), "To the Infant Hampden" (1801).
Tighe, Mary (Blachford), from Psyche, with Other Poems. By the late Mrs. Henry Tighe, Books 1 and 2 (1811).
Wheatley, Phillis, "On Being Brought from Africa to America" (1773), "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield" (1770, 1773), "To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth" (1773), "To S. M. a Young African Painter, on Seeing his Works" (1773).
Williams, Helen Maria, "A Farewell, for Two Years, to England" (1789), "To Sensibility" (1823).
Wordsworth, Dorothy, "Address to a Child During a Boisterous Winter Evening", "Floating Island", "Grasmere-A Fragment,"Thoughts on my Sick-bed" (texts from Susan Levin, Dorothy Wordsworth and Romanticism).

Wordsworth, William, "Tintern Abbey" and "We Are Seven," from Lyrical Balladswith A Few Other Poems (1798, 1800); "I travell'd among unknown Men," "Resolution and Independence," "The Solitary Reaper", "My heart leaps up when I behold," "I wandered lonely as a Cloud," "Elegiac Stanzas, suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle, in a Storm", "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood," from Poems in Two Volumes (1807); "Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!" (1809), "Vaudracour and Julia" (1820), "The Ettrick Shepherd. Extempore Effusion upon reading . . . the notice of the Death of the Poet, James Hogg" (1835), The Prelude (1805, 1850), at least six sonnets.

Yearsley, Ann Cromarty, "Reflections on the Death of Louis XVI" (1793), "To Mira, on the Care of her Infant" (1796).

Secondary Reading

Abrams, M. H., Natural Supernaturalism (1973).
Frye, Northrop, Fearful Symmetry (1947).
Hartman, Geoffrey, Wordsworth's Poetry, 1787-1814 (1964).
Lowes, John Livingstone, The Road to Xanadu (1927).
McGann, Jerome, J., The Romantic Ideology (1983), The Poetics of Sensibility (1996).
Mellor, Anne K., Romanticism & Gender (1993).
Praz, Mario, The Romantic Agony (1933).