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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys a range of the period’s critical and polemical writings, from famous works such as Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria and Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry to less well-known works, including Byron’s critical prose and Leigh Hunt’s verse The Feast of the Poets. It assesses some of the main arguments and controversies at stake in these works, such as those surrounding the status of Pope and Wordsworth as poets, and considers the political implications of these debates. The chapter also reflects on how some of the period’s more thoughtful poet-critics responded to the (for some) irreconcilable natures of the polemical and the literary.

Keywords: poetics, criticism, theory, polemic, argument, defence, manifesto, politics, controversy

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