The problem with a lot of academic blogs is that they're often written by a single researcher. This frequently results - and I know I'm guilty of this! - in blogs remaining stagnant for weeks or months at a time while various teaching and research commitments are met; it can also mean that posts are rather narrow in focus.
Two new Romanticism blogs that seek to address these issues have recently launched: The Wordsworth Trust's Wordsworth and Romanticism Blog and the Romantic Textualities Blog. Both hosted by thriving Romanticism sites, these blogs are updated regularly and feature posts from teams of contributors. This results in a range of lively and varied posts on a startlingly wide array of topics; I've really enjoyed reading up on global Romanticism, Harriet Shelley, and the Gothic and travel writing so far, to name but a few.
The Wordsworth and Romanticism BlogOfficially launched on 7 April this year to coincide with Wordsworth's birthday, the Wordsworth and Romanticism blog provides introductions to a range of Romantic figures and topics, some very well known, and others less so. So far, posts have covered P. B. Shelley in revolutionary Ireland, Byron's exiles, Claire Clairmont, William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Harriet Shelley, as well as a rather playful post speculating on the positions various male Romantic poets would play on a football team! The beauty of these posts is that they make their content accessible for those with no previous knowledge of the subject, yet also engage those readers who have a more long-standing interest in Romanticism.
Stephen Gill's post on Wordsworth is a particular highlight, capturing the essence of the poet for those new to his work while also reminding those of us who are familiar with his poetry why he is such a fascinating writer and how we can never truly consider our readings of his texts finished. Wordsworth is a poet, Gill argues, who 'offers us continual renewals of pleasure', living many lives and covering numerous themes yet ultimately always displaying a determination 'to try to understand what it means really to live'.
|Claire Clairmont, by Amelia Curran|
It's one of the great strengths of this blog that it strives to introduce its readers to a range of lesser-known Romantics, publishing posts on female writers and cultural figures alongside those that consider the male Big Six. This site is definitely one to bookmark.
The Romantic Textualities BlogAimed more at a specifically academic audience than the Wordsworth and Romanticism Blog, the Romantic Textualities Blog offers some wonderfully varied posts covering cutting-edge research, pedagogical reflections, conference reports, and introductions to topics. Part of the wider Romantic Texualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840 site, there's always something interesting to be found on this blog: I've recently enjoyed posts on Burke and Hare (Sarah Sharp), Wordsworth's poetic development (Elias Greig), and global Romanticism (Manu Samriti Chander).
The scholars writing for this site often consider a topic or theme across several posts; one particularly successful (and useful) set of posts has been Daniel Cook's 'Teaching Romanticism' series. Beginning with a consideration of how we teach Romanticism in terms of setting period boundaries, Cook reflects upon designing a Romantic and Gothic Literature paper at the University of Dundee. Later posts then turn to examining Romanticism modules, Scottish literature, and Taught Masters programmes.
|The Villa Diodati|