Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Literary Criticism  19th Century

Romantic Prophecy and the Resistance to Historicism

by (author) Christopher Bundock

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
19th Century, General, 18th Century, History, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Romantic writers invoked prophecy throughout their work. However, the failure of prophecy to materialize didn’t deter them. Why then do Romantic writers repeatedly invoke prophecy when it never works? The answer to this question is at the heart of Romantic Prophecy and the Resistance to Historicism.


In this remarkably erudite work, Christopher Bundock argues that the repeated failure of prophecy in Romantic thought is creative and enables a renewable potential for expression across disciplines. By focusing on new readings of canonical Romantic authors as well as their more obscure works, Bundock makes a bold intervention into major concepts such as Romantic imagination, historicity, and mediation. Romantic Prophecy and the Resistance to Historicism glides across Kant’s Swedenborgian dreams to Mary Shelley’s Last Man and reveals how Romanticism reinvents history by turning prophecy inside out.

About the author

Christopher M. Bundock is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Regina.

Christopher Bundock's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This book is theoretically subtle, attuned to the transformative power of negation, and builds its argument chapter by chapter with extraordinary command. Its account of how the changing experience of time can lead to "subjective displacement" and create space for critique makes this book an important contribution to Romantic studies."

University of Toronto Quarterly, vol 87 3, Summer 2018

"Romantic Prophecy casts an impressively wide net, one that not only encompasses a vast array of literary and philosophical texts but that, for this reason, makes itself relevant to literary historians, theologians, and historians of science alike, not to mention the Romanticists who remain its target audience."

Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, vol 52 3