This wide-ranging book explores the generic innovations that propel the Romantic 'revolution in literature', but also the fascination with archaic forms such as the ballad, sonnet, epic, and romance. It shows how the tension between the drives to 'make it old' and 'make it new' generates one of the most dynamic phases in the history of literature, whose complications are played out in the critical theory of the period as well as its poetry, prose and drama.

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