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- 9 black and white illustrations, 11 color illustrations.
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Building Romanticism sets the literary culture of Romantic Britain within the context of the period's architectural productions in order to recover a relationship between these arts that, though deeply valued by writers and architects of the day, has been neglected by modern scholars in both fields. Toward this goal, Nicole Reynolds explores the centrality of architecture and architectural tropes to Romanticism's dramatic reconceptualization of the individual subject and of the world that subject inhabits.
Focusing on the correspondence between the period's built environments and its literary pursuits, Building Romanticism argues that at this turbulent moment in British history a number of politically charged and aesthetically resonant architectural spaces, both real and imagined, negotiated intense anxieties about shifting notions of gender and sexuality, increased class mobility, the individual's uncertain place in history, challenges to the British national character and to the project of nation building, and the very form and function of art itself. By tracing the reception of Romantic topoi—rhetorical and literal common places—through the nineteenth century, this book explores how Victorians remodeled Romanticism, its ideological preoccupations and cultural artifacts, according to their own era's social agendas.
"Building Romanticism is engaging, closely argued, and well written. It will be a valuable addition to the growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that considers the built environment and its role in constructing relationships and worldviews both real and imagined."
—Barbara Penner, Bartlett School of Architecture
"This insightful book will dramatically influence our appreciation of the spaces and places involved in ‘built' environments, both in Romantic-era culture and in its Victorian aftermath, and of how their resonances in literature and the arts map complex cultural and ideological mind-sets at all levels of society."
—Stephen Behrendt, Department of English, University of Nebraska
"Building Romanticism fills a gap in the existing scholarship that has not yet dealt with relationships between architecture and text in the Romantic period, and Nicole Reynolds clearly demonstrates a mastery of the scholarship around Romanticism and its legacy, across genres of literature and in the field of architecture."
—Charles Rice, School of Architecture, University of Technology, Sydney
Cover art: "Monks [sic] Room and Gallery," from John Britton's Union of Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting (1827). (Courtesy Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Ohio State University.)
"Bold and intelligent ... Reynolds's readings of these weirdly contradictory spaces and texts is subtle and attentive."
—Times Literary Supplement
"[Reynolds'] study persuasively suggests that studying the literary nature of architecture and the spatial nature of literature helps highlight contested notions of a gendered and nationalized subject."
—Eighteenth Century Fiction
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