'Paul Cheshire is unquestionably the world authority on William Gilbert and The Hurricane. Based on extensive original research, this ground-breaking study will return Gilbert to the forefront of critical attention, locating him in relation to more famous contemporaries and setting-out for the first time his esoteric brand of Romanticism and its many affinities with more familiar Romantic authors and texts, ideas and concepts. Presenting its key text - The Hurricane - in full at its centre, the book fills a conspicuous gap in current understandings and opens numerous new avenues for further research.'Nicholas Roe, Wardlaw Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews
'This is an unusual book about an unusual man. In his engagingly written, intensively researched study of the life and work of William Gilbert, Paul Cheshire illuminates the hermetic vision underpinning Gilbert's allegorical poem The Hurricane, and widens its scope to explore the influence of western esoteric thought on the imagination of the Romantic poets in a manner which touches on issues still alive and vital in our own transitional times.'Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread Prize-winning author of The Chymical Wedding and The Water Theatre.
'William Gilbert was a leading member of the utopian, apocalyptic and artistic movement of the 1790s, a remarkable period in British - and European - history. He was a major influence on the Romantic poets, and his presence is felt in Coleridge's masterpiece, 'Kubla Khan'. Paul Cheshire's remarkable biography brings this forgotten genius to life, restoring him to his proper place in our artistic and radical history.'Nicholas Campion, Associate Professor in Cosmology and Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
"Other scholars have worked on The Hurricane and William Gilbert; Cheshire's account draws on their work and goes a considerable way beyond it (not least in considering the horrors of slavery in this context). The fascination of this neglected figure is made plain, as are the critical implications of a work with both esoteric roots and Romantic repercussions." -- Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement
Paul Cheshire has written a number of articles on Coleridge and his contemporaries, including a chapter on Coleridge's notebooks for the 'Oxford Handbook of S. T. Coleridge'. He has also written on the influence of seventeenth century hermetic philosophy on Milton. His initial study of 'The Hurricane', 'The Hermetic Geography of William Gilbert', appeared in Romanticism in 2003.