© 2015

John Thelwall

Selected Poetry and Poetics

  • Editors
  • Judith Thompson

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Judith Thompson
    Pages 1-19
  3. Judith Thompson
    Pages 21-50
  4. Judith Thompson
    Pages 87-102
  5. Judith Thompson
    Pages 103-134
  6. Judith Thompson
    Pages 135-174
  7. Judith Thompson
    Pages 175-210
  8. Judith Thompson
    Pages 211-247
  9. Judith Thompson
    Pages 249-274
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 275-324

About this book


Drawing on newly-discovered manuscripts, this collection is the first modern edition of poetry by John Thelwall, the famed radical Romantic and champion of the working class. Eight key essays and 125 fully-annotated poems introduce his work in correspondence with historical traditions and current critical paradigms.


Pindar poem poetics poetry Romanticism

About the authors

Judith Thompson is Professor of English at Dalhousie University, Canada.

Bibliographic information


 “Thompson’s outstanding edition leaves no doubt … that Thelwall needs to be reckoned with as a pioneering poet within his own contemporary horizon—but even more so as an ethical voice of unrivalled present-day topicality.” (Phillip Hunnekuhl, Notes and Queries, Vol. 66 (1), March 2019)

"Judith Thompson's John Thelwall: Selected Poetry and Poetics amounts to a major accomplishment, at once accelerating the revival of Thelwall, and providing a much needed resource for work and pleasure in Romantic era studies. It is a treasure-house curated by expert archival scholarship, editorial savvy, and critical insight. With a smartly devised introduction, Thompson presents poet Thelwall (famously brave political activist) in the range and originality of the genres he exercised and transformed: pastoral and peripatetic, comic ballads, satires and seditious allegories, sonnets routine and innovative, odes (public and Pindaric), conversation poems, effusions, love songs, epic and autobiography, and essays on poetic principles." - Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English, Princeton University, USA

"This superb edition contains selections from the entire range of Thelwall's poetry, including previously unpublished work, together with extracts from his critical writing. Organized by genre, Thelwall's own preferred method, the volume reveals a daringly experimental poet-theorist whose contribution to the Romantic literary revolution can now be explored by modern readers for the first time. Thompson, the leading interpreter of his poetry and discoverer of the Derby Manuscript which has transformed Thelwall studies, brings her expertise to bear through skillful editing and annotation and an insightful critical introduction which takes readers to the heart of Thelwall's poetic project." - David Duff, Professor of Language and Literature, University of Aberdeen, Scotland