This image is the cover for the book Romanticism at the End of History

Romanticism at the End of History

“A refreshingly new discussion of Romanticism . . . provides new insights into the connection between the lives and works of Wordsworth and Coleridge.” —Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature

The Romantics lived through a turn of the century that, like our own, seemed to mark an end to history as it had long been understood. They faced accelerated change, including unprecedented state power, armies capable of mass destruction, a polyglot imperial system, and a market economy driven by speculation. In Romanticism at the End of History, Jerome Christensen challenges the prevailing belief that the Romantics were reluctant to respond to social injustice. Through provocative and searching readings of the poetry of Wordsworth; the poems, criticism, and journalism of Coleridge; the Confessions of De Quincey; and Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley, Christensen concludes that during complicated times of war and revolution English Romantic writers were forced to redefine their role as artists.

“The most brilliant, comprehensive, and humanizing discussion of Romanticism I’ve encountered in a long time: criticism that unabashedly loves its subject.” —Frank McConnell, University of California, Santa Barbara

“How, asks Christensen, can one resist commercialist hegemony in the posthistorical world? . . . This book bravely and passionately asserts the contemporary relevance of the utopian impulse in ‘Romantic’ writing without falling prey to its ideological posturing.” —Modern Language Review

“[Christensen’s] formulation of the Romantics is fascinating, bound up with the future of poetry as well as the way in which we should think about their historical significance.” —This Year’s Work in English Studies

Jerome Christensen

Jerome Christensen is chair of the English Department at the Univeristy of California, Irvine. He is also the author of Lord Byron's Strength: Romantic Writing and Commercial Society, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press