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The Romantic Paradox

Love, Violence and the Uses of Romance, 1760-1830

The Romantic Paradox by Jacqueline M. Labbe
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Why are there so few happily ever afters' in the Romantic-period verse romance? Why do so many poets utilise the romance and its parts to such devastating effect? Why is gender so often the first victim? The Romantic Paradox investigates the prevalence of violence and death in the poetic romances of the Romantic period, and discovers that poets in the period under discussion were also highly skilled at
dismembering the genre, allowing its parts - the quest, the hero, the love relationship, the supernatural - to stand in for, even replace, the whole narrative. The violence done to genre reflects the violence condoned by genre: during the Romantic period, the romance systematically destroyed itself. In her exploration of the poetry of the Della Cruscans, Coleridge, Keats, Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon and Byron, Labbe posits that understanding the romance and its violent tendencies is vital to understanding Romanticism itself.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 2000
224 pages; ISBN 9780230596764
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Title: The Romantic Paradox
Author: Jacqueline M. Labbe
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