English Literature of the Romantic Period, 1798 – 1832


Prof. Pramod K. Nayar

IIT Madras

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This is intended as a survey of one of the most significant periods in English literature, the Romantic Age. It provides the socio-cultural backgrounds, key features of the poetry and fiction and an introduction to some of the key poets and poems from the period. In addition it also offers a brief account of the principal aesthetic theories that informed the poetry, and an introduction to the visual arts of the period. It concludes with a short introduction to the orientalism that marked the age’s literature.


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Pramod K Nayar teaches at the Dept of English, the University of Hyderabad. Among his most recent books are Bhopal’s Ecological Gothic (Lexington, 2017), Human Rights and Literature (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017), The Extreme in Contemporary Culture (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017). He is the editor of English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology (Orient BlackSwan, 2013). Forthcoming is Brand Postcolonial: The ‘Third World’ Text and the Global (de Gruyter).

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IIT Madras

Total hours


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Course Details

Week 1: Backgrounds 1
Week 2: Backgrounds 2
Week 3: Romantic Prose
Week 4: Romanticism and Sentiment
Week 5: Romantic Literature: Nature, the Environment and Ecology
Week 6: Romantic Literature and Art: Aesthetics
Week 7: Romantic Literature: Politics
Week 8: Romantic Literature: Empire and Orientalism


Stuart Curran (ed) The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Cambridge UP, 1993.Aidan Day, Romanticism. Routledge, 1996. CM Bowra, The Romantic Imagination. Harvard UP, 1957. William St Clair. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge UP, 2004.Nicholas Roe (ed) Romanticism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford UP, 2008. Fulford, Tim, Debbie Lee and Peter Kitson. ‘Indian Flowers and Romantic Orientalism’, in Fulford et al., Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era: Bodies of Knowledge. Cambridge UP, 2004. Nigel Leask. British Romantic Writers and the East: Anxieties of Empire. Cambridge UP, 1993. NicholasMason. ‘Consumer Culture: Getting and Spending in the Romantic Age’, in Jon Kanchler (ed) A Concise Companion to Romanticism. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Anne K Mellor. Romanticism and Gender. Routledge, 1993.Rose, Jonathan. ‘Rereading the English Common Reader: A Preface to a History of Audiences’, Journal of the History of Ideas 53.1 (1992): 47–70. Fred Botting, Gothic. Routledge, 1996. Donna Heiland, Gothic and Gender: An Introduction. Blackwell, 2004.


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