From the fourteenth-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to In Parenthesis — an epic poem written in 1937 by painter and poet David Jones — English writers have looked to romance as a resource and a strategy to expand the imaginary reach of their writing. Rethinking the resilience, purpose, and place of romance in English literature, Timely Voices discusses moments that have altered how we read and interpret this ever-changing form. Addressing the various ways in which romance has absorbed and been absorbed by drama, prose, and poetry, contributors to this volume demonstrate that romance texts do not produce something defined or confined by a static genre, but rather express a repository of creative possibilities. Covering writers including the anonymous author of Sir Orfeo, Jane Austen, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Lucy Hutchinson, William Morris, Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and Edmund Spenser, essays explore the magic and wonder of romance, Irish and Gaelic lore, how woodcuts in early books complement and extend printed text, how romance was dramatized, how it gives language to feminist politics and ideology, and how it becomes a counterpoint to finance in the fiction of the early Romantic period. A nuanced reinterpretation of romance in its own terms, Timely Voices inspires new appreciation of this form as a solution to textual, aesthetic, structural, ideological, and political problems in literature.
Goran Stanivukovic is professor of early modern English literature and cultural studies and chair of the Department of English at Saint Mary's University.
"As individual pieces, the essays in this book are engaging, intellectually substantial, well-written, and well-researched. Taken all together, they make a compelling case for a new understanding of the rich and important role that romance tropes, narratives, and characters have played over centuries of English literature." Ian Moulton, Arizona State University
"Treating romance as a process rather than a strict generic category, this book addresses romance in a wide range of historical moments in English literature. Timely Voices very helpfully sets out a variety of ways in which romance can be viewed, effectiv