• Terence Allan Hoagwood
  • Kathryn Ledbetter


Nineteenth-century British poets are frequently eloquent about their own means of production. To use the metaphor made familiar by M. H. Abrams, the mimetic poetry of earlier periods sometimes knew itself as a mirror, and the poetry that Alexander Pope produces and prescribes in An Essay in Criticism, for instance, takes its images for representations of other things; in contrast, the lamp is about itself. Two or three generations ago, the tendency of Romantic writing to refer to itself seemed ennobling in the rhetoric of important books by Abrams and others: Romanticism was about Imagination. From the Napoleonic wars through the Cold War, Coleridge’s famous equation of poet with poem sloganized the admirable personalism of Romantic writing. That equation was a plank in the platform of “High Romanticism,” when Abrams praised it, and when Anne K. Mellor later treated it more negatively as “male Romanticism.” Much poetry, including many examples in this book, worked in a different way, directly or indirectly demystifying the self-reference of poetry by highlighting its manufacturing of illusions. Paradoxically, even while Letitia Elizabeth Landon’s (L. E. L) sales doctrine remained the premise that the poem equals the poet, she developed a trenchant and skillful “art of disillusion.”1


Nineteenth Century Personal Feeling Woman Writer Literary Annual Scholarly Approach 
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Copyright information

© Terence Allan Hoagwood and Kathryn Ledbetter 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Allan Hoagwood
  • Kathryn Ledbetter

There are no affiliations available

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