Steven E. Jones. Satire and Romanticism

By Pascoe, Judith | Studies in Romanticism, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Steven E. Jones. Satire and Romanticism


Pascoe, Judith, Studies in Romanticism


New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000. Pp. 262. $49.95.

In January 1817, the Prince Regent's coach window was shattered by an unidentified projectile hurled from an angry crowd. In Satire and Romanticism, Steven E. Jones recalls how the episode was satirized in the pages of The Black Dwarf, a radical weekly in which the projectile was transformed into a treasonable potato and reported to be standing trial alongside seditious gingerbread men and insurrectionary Punch puppets. The inspired silliness of romantic era satire is too easily bracketed off from more familiarly romantic literary works. We allow for Byron's ironic mischievousness, for Blake and Shelley's anarchic impulses, but the high seriousness of the most vaunted romantic lyric poems has commanded far more attention than the rude shoving and snickering of romantic era satire. Jones sets out to demonstrate that romanticism and satire are inextricably connected to each other, to counter the view that satire was supplanted by sensibility, and to claim parody as a close (if bratty) cousin of the lyric poem. Jones's book is such a lucidly written and reasonably argued work of scholarship that one feels the parameters of romanticism shifting slightly as one reads. The Black Dwarf's satire may never achieve pride of place in the romantic literary pantheon, but Satire and Romanticism makes vividly apparent the extent to which satirical literature impinged upon and influenced the work of Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and Byron.

Satire and Romanticism builds on a growing body of research on romantic-era satire, including Claude Rawson's Satire and Sentiment 1660-1830 1994), Marcus Wood's Radical Satire and Print Culture 1790-1822 (1994), and Gary Dyer's British Satire and the Politics of Style, 1789-1832 (1997). The parallels between Jones's and Wood's interests are several, although Wood's book is only once mentioned in the pages of Jones's study. Satire and Romanticism is organized around a variety of distinct milieux in which satire operated. Jones's first chapter, entitled "Representing Rustics: Satire, Countersatire, and Emergent Romanticism," identifies a countersatiric impulse in Wordsworth's "Essay on Epitaphs," one aimed at distinguishing Wordsworth's representations of rusticity from those of George Crabbe. But even as Wordsworth was drawing a line in the sand so that his sympathetic portrayals of rural folk could be sharply distinguished from the satirical representations of Crabbe, his own poems--Jones points to "Simon Lee" in particular--harbored latent satiric elements strategically deployed so as to underscore the reader's complicity in satire's operation.

This chapter's critical maneuvers are representative of the work that follows. In several chapters, Jones skillfully demonstrates the extent to which writers worked to distance themselves from a satiric Other, while at the same time appropriating elements of the satirical works they claimed to disdain. So, for example, in Chapter z, "`Supernatural, or at Least Romantic': The Ancient Mariner and Parody," Jones notes the ways in which the gloss Coleridge added to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" anticipates the inevitable parodies of this work, parodies that ultimately helped to ensure the poem an exalted status as a touchstone of romanticism. In Chapter 4, "Della Crusca Redivivus: The Revenge of the Satiric Victims," Jones argues that the condition of satiric victimage became a defining characteristic of the romantic, and he proves this point by showing how Shelley and Keats created and inhabited a construction of the poet as innocent victim of satire. They did this so successfully, Jones suggests, that later satire was forced, under Keats and Shelley's terms, to further the canonization of its victims. Salon society represented another form of satiric threat, one that Jones Explores in Chapter 5, "Byron's Satiric `Blues': Salon Culture and the Literary Marketplace. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Steven E. Jones. Satire and Romanticism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.