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Revisionary GleamDe Quincey, Coleridge and the High Romantic Argument$
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Daniel Sanjiv Roberts

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853237945

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313936

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Revolutionary Joy: De Quincey's Discovery of Lyrical Ballads

Revolutionary Joy: De Quincey's Discovery of Lyrical Ballads

Chapter:
(p.71) 3 Revolutionary Joy: De Quincey's Discovery of Lyrical Ballads
Source:
Revisionary Gleam
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853237945.003.0003

This chapter uncovers some of the likely contexts in which Thomas De Quincey encountered Lyrical Ballads, and suggests a more politicized view of his childhood reading and imagination than has hitherto been obtained. It argues that De Quincey's reading of Lyrical Ballads was influenced by ideological considerations on the part of the young De Quincey and was not the naïve admiration which has often been assumed. A re-examination of the records indicates that De Quincey discovered Lyrical Ballads through his contact with a prominent Whig literary circle in Liverpool, including William Roscoe and James Currie, who were in contact with Coleridge at the time. This literary context helps to explain some of the contradictions of De Quincey's later accounts of that seminal event, and literary relations of the Lake poets to be viewed in a new light. More broadly, it points to a hitherto unrecognized source of influence for Lyrical Ballads in the important edition of The Works of Robert Burns published by Currie in 1800.

Keywords:   Whig literary circle, William Roscoe, James Currie, Robert Burns

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