From the Editor

Article excerpt

'The Wordsworth Circle publishes peer-reviewed essays, conference papers, special issues, and an annual review, the fourth number of every volume. The books reviewed reflect the same broad range of topics and interests as the journal: all expressions and ideas, the lives, works, and times relevant to British, European, or American Romanticism, the Near and Far East, anywhere on the planet, in the universe; major and obscure authors, poetry, fiction, essays, editions, letters, diaries, journalism, biography, history, philosophy, art, music, science, polities; textual, literary, social, cultural, political, religious, urban, agricultural, theatrical, oral, and legal history; histories of science, medicine, technology, food, fashion, philosophy, art, music, literacy, language, publication, families, childhood, architecture, crime, translation, the book itself from the invention of writing to the internet, individually or multi-disciplinary: all critical perspectives and their histories--anything that influenced, impinges upon, or expresses any aspect of Romantic studies. In reviewing as many books as possible in descriptive essay reviews by authors with a perspective on and commitment to the field, these review issues connect new books to existing critical conversations, alter critical conversations, and comprise a rare history of the field for the past forty years.

Out of the hundreds published, TWC receives about 100 books a year. While we would like to review all the books that the publishers submit some, according to our reviewers, are not appropriate or reviews arc submitted that are so negative that we wonder why the books were published at all and may not. Represent a professional contribution. At other times, reviews are late or missing because reviewers are overwhelmed, as we all are, with other commitments. Our age and professions require the constant use of the same discriminatory faculties as writing book reviews, from student papers to tenure reviews, promotions and recommendations for outside grants, peer reviewing for journals, presses, and even choosing sources for our own work. Very good books often do not get reviewed in the first year after publication. However, when they are reviewed, usually the following year, they have a second birth. Given the 250 year shelf-life of the journal and the infinite life of the reviews on line, one year delay in a review is hardly fatal. We thank our distinguished reviewers in this issue, apologize to authors who are missing from the 2009 review, and encourage publishers to send books to TWC if they want to be reviewed.

The culture of TWC--the tone, protocols, personality, standards, functions, everything that gives the journal its special character, reputation, and collective life--was shaped by an initial advisory board and is sustained by the existing one. The journal was founded to serve, communicate, mentor, enhance the sense of community, provide affiliation, create a history, reflect and record who and what we do as students of Romanticism. After the passing of our first advisor, Earl Wasserman, I realized how inadequate the obligatory memorial was in honoring those to whom I felt a profound debt. I decided to publish profiles of the living, to honor our contemporaries during their life time, and so we did for many years. But they were never enough. Since our summer issue, we lost three of our founding advisors, Carl Woodring, Karl Kroeber, and Paul Zall.

Carl Ray Woodring died at age 90 on September 12, 2009, in Austin, Texas. Woodring earned his BA and MA at Rice University, where he met Mary Frances "San" Ellis, who became his wife of sixty years until her death in March. 2003. Alter serving in the Navy in WW II, recounted in his war memoir Lucky 13 ( 2000), he attended Harvard for his PhD, taught at the University of Wisconsin from 1948 to 1961, moved to Columbia and served as chairman of the department from 1968-71. He became the George Edward Woodberry Professor of Literature at Columbia in 1976 retiring in 1988. …


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