Wordsworth Circle

International quarterly journal focusing on contemporary studies of literature, culture, and society primarily in England during Romantic period.

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter

Adam Smith's Campaign against the Sublime
This essay explores Adam Smith's The Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries; illustrated by the History of Astronomy, written in the early 1750s, and unpublished in his lifetime, though, near the end of his life, he suggested that...
"A Delicate Empiricism": Goethe's Science and Wordsworth's "Waterfowl"
Goethe's scientific investigations into optics, animal and plant morphology, geology, and meteorology shared what he called "exact sensorial imagination." A careful observer, Goethe represented nature faithfully, acknowledging that "every act of seeing...
"Peter Pindar," Joseph Banks, and the Case against Natural History
In 1663, Robert Hooke announced that the "business" of the newly chartered Royal Society was "to improve the knowledge of naturall things, and all useful Arts, Manufactures ... not meddling with Divinity, Metaphysics, Moralls, Politicks, Grammar, Rhetorick,...
Philosophy as Encyclopedia: Hegel, Schelling, and the Organization of Knowledge
The Enlightenment is often called "the age of the encyclopedia" (Yeo 277), a term meaning "circle of learning," which is thus connected with constructing disciplinarity and imagining a virtual university. In this period, encyclopedias assumed their...
Polar Apocalypse in Coleridge and Poe
The frozen continent of the south--a land of white denial, empty as air and full as the void--has spawned a history of negative discovery, a hermeneutics of despair. (1) The intractable ice has driven human beings to distraction, to violent projections...
Radical Medicine and Romantic Politics
Last week a poor man in Sandgate [Newcastle-upon-Tyne], that had been blind twenty-four years, was lead [sic] to the machine. I set him upon the electrical board, and drew sparks for about twenty minutes from the pupil of his...
The Hummingbird Cabinet
In the bird gallery of The Natural History Museum in London there is a nineteenth-century glass cabinet the size of a circus car that may have once belonged to William Bullock, the London Museum curator. The cabinet is large but easy to overlook--from...
The Question of a Science: Encyclopedistic Romanticism
"A science only allows itself to be truly represented by another science" (Novalis 3:246, #49). (1) With this remark from the collection of fragmentary notes that were to form the basis of an encyclopedic project, Novalis indicates that the knowledge...

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