© 2009

Romantic Literary Families

  • Authors

Part of the Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters book series (19CMLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Scott Krawczyk
    Pages 95-134
  3. Scott Krawczyk
    Pages 159-162
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 163-224

About this book


The late eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of the literary family: a collaborative kinship network of family and friends that, by the end of the century, displayed characteristics of a nascent corporation. This book examines different models of collaboration within English literary families during the period 1760-1820. Beginning with the sibling model of Anna Barbauld and John Aikin, and concluding with the intergenerational model presented by the Godwins and the Shelleys, this study traces the conflict and cooperation that developed within and among literary families as they sought to leave their legacies on the English world of letters.


Percy Bysshe Shelley Romanticism William Wordsworth

About the authors

SCOTT KRAWCZYK is the Deputy Head of the Department of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Krawczyk makes a compelling case for the need to expand our thinking about the family into the variety of literary, personal, and business relationships such sociological interactions can encompass. In tracing the very human relationships both on and beyond the pages, Krawczyk's study expands our understanding of the circles of authors through the period" - Keats-Shelley Journal

"This is a thoughtful, measured, and persuasive book - a real contribution to our understanding of Romantic creativity. Scott Krawczyk's analysis not only taps into recent critical interest in sociable networks and collaborative productions; it also offers new insights into the literary family as the 'predominant mediating network for Romantic collaboration.'" - NBOL-19

"Elegant and erudite, Krawczyk's Romantic Literary Families is an exciting addition to the field of kinship studies. Through its readings of consanguineal, conjugal, and incorporated family groups, Romantic Literary Families convincingly marries literary criticism and socio-literary history; the book offers fascinating analyses of the familial and literary relationships of the Aikins, Wordsworths, Shelleys, and their circles." - Jacqueline Labbe, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

"Demonstrating how nineteenth-century literary families sought to 'incorporate' themselves, Krawczyk shows us that such relationships were meaningful both within and between familial groups. He reveals how celebrated authors worked collaboratively, jockeyed for position, or sought advantageous 'mergers,' all in familial terms. Reading the fascinating published and private writings of the Barbauld-Aikins, the Wollstonecraft-Godwin-Shelleys, the Wordsworths, and others, Romantic Literary Families compels us to see the era's most significant literary relations through new eyes. This pioneering book deserves a wide readership." - Devoney Looser, Associate Professor of English, University of Missouri and co-editor,Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies

"The output of these thinkers and writers provides a cross-section of the views on politics, education, slavery, and literature that form the Romantic movement. Incorporating contemporary scholarship, this book, with its outstanding bibliography, will be invaluable. Highly recommended." - CHOICE