Byron and the Forms of Thought

Anthony Howe

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ISBN: 9781846319716

Publication: September 20, 2013

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 61

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Byron and the Forms of Thought is a major new study of Byron as a poet and thinker. While informed by recent work on Byron’s philosophical contexts, the book questions attempts to describe Byron as a philosopher of a particular kind. It approaches Byron, rather, as a writer fascinated by the different ways of thinking philosophy and poetry are taken to represent. After an Introduction that explores Byron’s reception as a thinker, the book moves to a new reading of Byron’s scepticism, arguing for a close proximity, in Byron’s thought, between epistemology and poetics. This is explored through readings of Byron’s efforts both as a philosophical poet and writer of critical prose. The conclusions reached form the basis of an extended reading of Don Juan as a critical narrative that investigates connections between visionary and political consciousness. What emerges is a deeply thoughtful poet intrigued and exercised by the possibilities of literary form.

Dr Anthony Howe is Senior Lecturer in English at Birmingham City University. He is editor of the volume Liberty and Poetic Licence: New Essays on Byron (Liverpool University Press, 2008) and, with Professor Michael O'Neill, of The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley (2013).

Introduction Part 1: Philosophy Essay I - ‘I doubt if doubt itself be doubting’: Scepticism, System and Poetry Essay II - A ‘voice from out the Wilderness’: Cain and Philosophical Poetry Part 2: Poetics Essay III - The need for ‘all this’: Johnson, Bowles and the Forms of Prose Essay IV - ‘I wish to do as much by Poesy’: Amidst a Byronic Poetics Part 3: Outlines Essay V - The Flower and the Gem: Narrative Form and the Traces of Eden Essay VI - ‘Glory’s dream Unriddled’: Politics and the Forms of War Coda: ‘In Short’ Bibliography Index

Howe's Byron and the Forms of Thought is illuminating as well as inspiring,readers looking for fresh insights into Byron’s poetry and verse dramas will not be disappointed.
Susan Oliver   European Romantic Review

Howe’s work represents a promising turn in Byron studies. As we seek to explain and justify the role of literary studies and single-author studies in particular, texts like this one come to our aid... One can hope that the conversations Howe begins in this book – on text, form, language, and politics – come to dominate Byron studies in the coming years.
  December 2014
Byron Journal 42.2

Anthony Howe’s study is well-written (if occasionally gnomic) and full of insights, combining a strong awareness of Byron’s various intellectual engagements with consistently persuasive interpretations of the poetry.
  The BARS Review, No. 44, Autumn

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

224 Pages

ISBN: 9781846319716

Publication: September 20, 2013

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 61

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