Byron's Ghosts

The Spectral, the Spiritual and the Supernatural

Edited by Gavin Hopps

£75.00
- +

ISBN: 9781846319709

Publication: October 11, 2013

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 62

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Byron is rarely thought of as a spiritual writer. However, as this bold new collection shows, this is the result of an impoverished notion of the ‘spiritual’ and a reflection of biased priorities in Romantic studies. Reflecting on the poet’s claim that ‘immaterialism’s a serious matter’, this interdisciplinary collection of essays, from British and American scholars, calls into question the prevailing ‘materialist’ consensus, and offers a fresh and theoretically inflected reading of Byron’s poetry. Byron’s Ghosts is the first book-length examination of spectrality in Byron’s work. It is on the one hand concerned with what Mary Shelley in her essay ‘On Ghosts’ refers to as ‘the true old-fashioned, foretelling, flitting, gliding ghost’, though it is also a postmodern response to the ‘spectral turn’ in critical theory, which brings into view a range of phantom effects and ‘non-Gothic’ spectres. Focusing attention on these diverse modalities of the ghostly, the specially assembled essays complicate the popular image of Byron as a sceptical or ‘anti-Romantic’ poet and reveal a great deal about his work that could not be uncovered in any other way.

Gavin Hopps is a Lecturer in Literature and Theology at the University of St Andrews. His previous books include 'Morrissey: The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart' (Continuum, 2009) and 'Romanticism and Religion from William Cowper to Wallace Stevens', co-edited with Jane Stabler (Ashgate, 2006).

Acknowledgements Texts and Abbreviations Introduction: The Re-Enchantment of Romanticism Chapter 1: Determining Unknown Modes of Being: A Map of Byron’s Ghosts and Spirits BERNARD BEATTY Chapter 2: S hades of Being: Byron and the Trespassing of Ontology GAVIN HOPPS Chapter 3: Byron and the Noonday Demons MARY HURST Chapter 4: Conjuration and Exorcism: Byron’s Spectral Rhetoric DALE TOWNSHEND Chapter 5: Byron avec Sade: Material and Spectral Violence in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Canto PIYA PAL-LAPINSKI Chapter 6: ‘’Twixt Life and Death’: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Don Juan and the Sublime PHILIP SHAW Chapter 7: Byron, Ann Radcliffe and the Religious Implications of the Explained Supernatural in Don Juan ALISON MILBANK Chapter 8: The Haunting of Don Juan PETER W. GRAHAM Chapter 9: Being neither Here nor There: Byron and the Art of Flirtation CORIN THROSBY Afterword: Blowing on a Dead Man’s Embers: Byron’s Biographical Ghosts PETER ALLENDER Bibliography Notes on Contributors Index

This is a strong collection of essays on an excellent, and original, topic. Byron's Ghosts manifestly enhances and modifies our understanding of Byron.
Alan Rawes  
University of Manchester

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

246 Pages

ISBN: 9781846319709

Publication: October 11, 2013

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 62

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