and negative representations of French events, especially the Bastille and
October Days crowd scenes, positing a "representational trajectory" that begins
with depictions of actual female participants whose seductive tendencies are
rendered as documentary, then moves to an exaggerated, more abstract,
allegorical representation, and comes full circle after 1793 when British
caricaturists were motivated to return to the portrayal of actual women.
Throughout, Kromm associates the political representations with the rising
gender stereotypes of madness in women. Although imputations of madness
were common in the debate, Kromm focuses on gendered constructions of
madness, especially as used by Rowlandson and not common in visual
stereotyped representations until the 1780s for reasons related to the social and
political constructions of gender roles.
All of the essays contribute to the ongoing exchange of ideas about and
interpretation of the relationship between English intellectual culture and the
historical phenomenon of the Revolution. Thus, the debate in England of the 1790s continues to enliven the intellectual, literary, and critical debates of the 1990s and serves as a rich focal center for evolving ideas about rhetoric,
politics, religion, art and literature.
Abrams essay, "Revolutionary Romanticism 1790-1990," appears in a
collection of essays from the April 1990 conference at Bucknell University. Wordsworth in Context, ed.
Pauline Fletcher and
John Murphy (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1992), 19-34.
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society: 1780-1950 ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), 31.
Marilyn Butler, Burke, Paine, Godwin, and the Revolution
Controversy ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).
The four collections of essays are Wordsworth in Context, cited in note 1
from the 1990 Bucknell University conference "Revolutionary Romanticism
1790-1990"; Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory, ed.
et al. ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), from the 1988 Indiana Symposium on Romanticism; Revolution and English Romanticism:
Politics and Rhetoric, ed.
Keith Hanley and
Raman Selden ( London: Harvester
Wheatsheaf and New York: St. Martin's, 1990), from the 1989 Lancaster
University conference on "Revolution and English Romanticism"; and Revolution in Writing: British Literary Responses to the French Revolution, ed. Kelvin Everest (Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1991), papers taken
from five different bicentennial conferences in England in 1989.
See the "Function of Criticism at the Present Time," where Arnold
characterizes the Revolution as "the most animating event in history." TheComplete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold