James H. Thomason Library

English 306: Poetry & Prose of the Romantic Period

Reference Sources


Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm, 1775, oil on canvas, Claude-Joseph Vernet,
Dallas Museum of Art - ARTstor Image Collection


Romanticism - a term applied to a movement in literature and the arts that arose in Europe in the late 18th century emphasizing “imagination and emotion over reason and intellect, a reverence for nature, and revolt against political authority and social convention.”
Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 4th ed

  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Bibliographies of 18-19thCentury Criticism
  Reviews of Research
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan
Locating Articles & Criticism
  Reference Sources & Criticism
  Articles, Essays, Book Chapters
  Key Journals
  Journal Finder
Internet Resources
  General Romanticism Sources
  Romanticism Associations
  Special Collections & Manuscripts
Get Help

denotes recommended resource

denotes library subscription

Reference Sources:    

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Companions, Guides

  back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

The Encyclopedia of Romanticism:  Culture in Britain 1780s-1830s, Garland, 1992.
Main Level, Reference: R 941.073 En19E 
Entries focus on the social, cultural, and intellectual climate of English Romanticism from the 1780s to the mid-1830s capturing the "spirit of the age." This encyclopedia includes poets, playwrights, and novelists, as well as, critics, editors, booksellers, painters, patrons, architects, ideas, trends, fads, and conventions.  

Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, Cambridge, 1993.
Upper Level: 820.9145 C144C
Eleven essays providing clear access to the historical roots, intellectual ferment and cultural range of British Romanticism. Includes a chronology and extensive guide to further reading.

Cambridge Guide to Literature in English [CREDO Reference], Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006.
Authoritative and international survey of world literature in English with entries on eras, theses, genres and critical terms, authors, poems, novels, literary journals and plays.

Companion to Romanticism, Blackwell Publishers, 1998.
Upper Level: 820.9145 C738C
Duncan Wu emphasizes new theoretical approaches to Romantic literature, providing introductory essays in four general areas: (1) the historical, intellectual, and literary contexts out of which Romanticism arose, (2) representative works of Romanticism, (3) the genres and modes of Romantic expression, and (4) divergent critical interpretations of Romanticism.

Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature [CREDO Reference], Continuum International Publishing Group, Ltd., 2006.
A comprehensive guide to all British literature, including literature in English from the colonial and postcolonial periods.

Critical Survey of Poetry, Salem, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 809.1 C869C [8 vols]
This eight volume set presents an essay on each poet included. Each essay contains essential information including: principal poetry, other literary forms, achievements, biography, analysis, and bibliography. Index to set in Volume 8.    

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols [CREDO Reference], Cambridge University Press, 2003.
The first dictionary of symbols to be based on literature, rather than "universal" psychological archetypes, myths, or esoterica. Concentrates on English literature, but its entries range widely from the Bible and classical authors to the twentieth century, taking in American and European literatures.  
Also available Main Level, Reference: R 809.915 F373D [2000].

Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850 [CREDO Reference], Routledge, 2004.
Explores the developments that influenced the profound changes in thought and sensibility during the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. The Encyclopedia provides readers with a clear, detailed, and accurate reference source on the literature, thought, music, and art of the period, demonstrating the rich interplay of international influences and cross-currents at work; and to explore the many issues raised by the very concepts of Romantic and Romanticism.

  Book Cover

Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature [GVRL], Gale, 2009.

Covers world authors from many periods and genres, building an understanding of the various contexts -- from the biographical to the literary to the historical -- in which literature can be viewed. Identifies the significant literary devices and global themes that define a writer's style and place the author in a larger literary tradition as chronicled and evaluated by critics over time.

Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion [GVRL], Gale, 2006.

Spans all facets of gothic literature, including visual and performing arts, society and culture, themes, and settings. Includes primary source documents and critical material to provide a contextual perspective, a related chronology of key events, full-text commentaries, and lists of further readings.

A History of Modern Criticism 1750-1950, Yale University Press, [1955-] 1976.
Upper Level:  801 W458H v.2
Volume two of this well-known, six-volume history of modern literary criticism is titled, "The Romantic Age" and traces the growth of Romantic criticism and the rejection of neoclassical ideals.

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism, Johns Hopkins, 2005.
Main Level, Reference: R 801.950904 J62J
This informative, reliable introduction to criticism and literary theory is for those with interest in theoretical issues but without specialized knowledge. Entries contain cross references, see also, and a bibliography with selected primary and secondary sources. Helpful indexes of Names and Topics in back of volume. The “British Theory and Criticism” entry includes a section on the Romantic Period. Major Romantic authors each have an entry.

The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Oxford Reference Online] Oxford Univ. Press, 2008.
Also available Main, Level Reference: R 820.9 Ox2O [2000]

Romanticism: A Critical Reader, Blackwell, 1996.
Upper Level: 820.9145 R6622R
Duncan Wu’s (ed.) overview of criticism from 1980-1996, with two essays on each of the six major writers of the period that were selected from the most distinguished criticism in the field.

The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature. James Chandler, editor. Cambridge University Press, 2010. [eBook, Cambridge Histories Online].

Reference works on specific authors:  
A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake, Brown Univ. Press, 1973.
Main Level, Reference: R 821.7 D187B


What is

. . .

A Byron Chronology
, G. K. Hall, 1988.
Main Level, Reference: R 821.709 P144B


a chronology ?

An ordered sequence of related events, episodes, or
defined blocks of time.

Concordance to the Poems of John Keats, Garland Publishing, 1981.
Main Level, Reference: R 821.7 B388C

An Electronic Concordance to Keat’s Poetry [Noah Comet]
Searchable electronic concordance to The Poems of John Keats, edited by Jack Stillinger.



a concordance ?

An alphabetical index of all the significant words used
in a text or related
group of texts,
indicating all the places
in which each word is used.

A Wordsworth Chronology, G. K. Hall Publishing, 1988.
Main Level, Reference: R 821.709 P655W

Bibliographies of 18-19th Century Criticism   back to top

Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide, Oxford, 1998.
Upper Level: 016.8209 L712L
A critical guide to the most important works of scholarship concerning the major Romantic writers. Among the materials described and evaluated are standard editions, textual studies, bibliographies, biographies, chronologies, and critical studies.



What is

a bibliography ?


. . .

A list of the books [articles] of a particular author, printer, or country, or of those

English Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Bibliography, Salem, 1991.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.821709 Au17E
A select list (rather than exhaustive) of materials produced through 1989 devoted to six major English Romantic poets, as well as several minor poets of the era.


dealing with any particular theme;  the literature of a subject.

Oxford English Dictionary Online

George Gordon, Lord Byron: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Secondary Materials in English, 1807-1974, Scarecrow Press, 1977.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.8217 Sa59G

Keats-Shelley Journal:  Annual Bibliography 1994-1998.       
For the years from 1994 to 1998, the Keats-Shelley Journal has published an electronic version of its annual bibliography. Includes an introductory essay.

Romantic Movement Bibliography, 1936-1970; A Master Cumulation from ELH, Philological Quarterly, and English Language Notes, Pierian, 1973.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.8809894 R662R [7vols]
This multi-volume bibliography cumulates the annual bibliography of Romanticism in Britain and Europe that appeared in ELH from 1936 to 1948, Philological Quarterly from 1949 to 1963, and English Language Notes from 1964 to 1970. The entries in each yearly bibliography are organized into the following divisions: general, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. When searching for materials not concerning Keats, Shelley, Bryon, or Hunt, this resource, rather than the annual bibliography found in the Keats-Shelley Journal, is most effective.

"Romantic Movement Bibliography, "English Language Notes, 1971-1978. 
Lower Level, Periodicals
For the time period from 1971 to 1978, the researcher can access English Language Notes' annual bibliography of Romanticism by examining the first-issue supplements of volumes 10 through 17.

Romantic Movement: A Selective and Critical Bibliography for 1992, Locust Hill Press, 1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.8099145 Er28R 1992
A one volume bibliography compiled irregularly (usually 1-3 years) by a committee of the MLA including descriptive and critical annotations of all current books and articles of substantial interest to scholars of English and Continental Romanticism, the movement not the time period.

Romantic Poetry by Women: A Bibliography, 1770-1835, Oxford University Press, 1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.82160809 J135R

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Scholarship, G. K. Hall & Co., 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.8217 H298S V. 3

A Selective Bibliography of British Romantic Poetry & Prose [Nicholas Halmi, University of Washington]
Organized under General Studies (Poetic Forms, The Gothic, Sister Arts, etc.) and Individual Authors; includes Electronic Texts.

Wordsworth Scholarship and Criticism, 1973-1984: An Annotated Bibliography, with
Selected Criticism, 1809-1972
, Garland Publishing, 1985.
Main Level, Reference: R 016.8217 J721W

Additional lists can be found by following links in ThomCat for Romanticism Great Britain Bibliography and Romanticism Bibliography.

Biography   back to top

Literature Resource Center [Thomson Gale]
Search here for your author or use advanced search criteria to compile a list of authors by type. Contains biographical information from Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as British Writers [Main Level Reference: R 820.9 B777B] and thirteen Scribner print sources.

Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Romantic Poets 1789-1832
, Gale, 1990.        
Main Level, Reference:
R 809 D561D  vols. 93 and 96
DLB provides career biographies of literary figures from a vast range of cultural backgrounds and historical periods. Volumes 93 and 96 contain information on British Romantic Poets, 1789-1832.
Also searchable in Literature Resource Center 

Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850
[CREDO Reference], Routledge, 2004.

Includes biographies of notable figures of the time period.

Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 920.02 En19E [17 vols]
Alphabetically arranged long essays on reputable personalities who have made great contributions to human culture and society.

Search authors individually as subject or click subject heading below to browse author biographies held by Thomason Library. Poets, English -- 19th century -- Biography

Reviews of Research   back to top

English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research and Criticism, 4th ed, MLA, 1985.
Upper Level: 016.821709 J762E 1985
Summarizes the most important Romantic scholarship through the early 1980s. Chapters are devoted to each of the major Romantic poets, describing and evaluating scholarly texts, examining emerging trends, and identifying topics in need of additional attention. The 3rd edition of this work is also available on the upper level.

Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide, Oxford, 1998.
Upper Level: 016.8209 L712L
A critical guide to the most important works of scholarship concerning the major Romantic writers and genres. Among the materials described and evaluated are standard editions, textual studies, bibliographies, biographies, chronologies, and critical studies.

Style Guides   back to top

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., Modern Language Association, 2009.
Main Level, Reference: Ready Reference Shelf or R 808.027 M72M

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books   back to top

Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, word, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              
  Blake, William [as AUTHOR]   37 items by Blake  
  Keats, John [as SUBJECT]     25 subjects about Keats  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of THOMCAT subject headings related to Romantic literature which may be short or more detailed with country, era, literary genre, or the material type:

THOMCAT Subjects

  Romanticism--Great Britain


English poetry

  English poetry--19th century
  Feminism and literature
  Gothic Revival Literature--Great Britain
  Nature in literature
  Pastoral Poetry--English--History And Criticism
PASCAL Subjects
  Gothic Revival Literature--Great Britain
  Pastoral Poetry--English--History and Criticism


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
Byron AND politics

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(guilt OR sin) AND Coleridge

· Use NOT to eliminate a term from a search:

Wordsworth AND memory NOT Arnold

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
politic* = politics, political, politician

· Use "quotation marks" around a phrase to find

the exact phrase:

"Romantic period"

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases


PASCAL Catalog   back to top

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, search this combined catalog of college & university libraries in South Carolina. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days.


PASCAL Catalog searching is similar to searching in THOMCAT. An added BONUS in THOMCAT is a

pass-through from search results in THOMCAT to the same search results in PASCAL with one click on the PASCAL icon like the red box on the right.

The pass through is available on any search at any level:

  • A PC book you need is checked out? Click the PASCAL icon for other copies available in SC.

  • Need more items on a subject? PASCAL items on that subject are just a click away.

This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat   back to top

A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog.


Interlibrary Loan   back to top

You need to use Interlibrary Loan when:

  • a book you really need is not available at PC or through PASCAL Delivers
  • an article you need is not available at PC [you've already checked Journal Finder to see if the library has access to the journal for the date that you need]

ILL is available to all PC students, faculty and staff. Click link above for instructions.


Locating Articles & Criticism:   back to top
Reference Sources & Criticism   back to top

Literature Resource Center
[Thomson Gale]
Biographical, bibliographical and contextual information from the Contemporary Authors and Dictionary of Literary Biography databases, as well as full-text criticism from the Contemporary Literary Criticism Select database. Contains full-text journal articles from more than 250 literary journals, critical essays, author biographies, and definitions of literary terms from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.

British Writers, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1979-2007.
Main Level, Reference:
R 820.9 B777B [8 vols, 12 supplements]
Also searchable in Scribner Writer's Series

Scribner Writer's Series
Full-text articles on writers and literary genres drawn from 13 acclaimed Scribner print series. Each signed article was written by a noted scholar and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources for further study.

Articles, Essays, Book Chapters   back to top

MLA International Bibliography  [EBSCOhost]
Indexes critical literary and language scholarship and provides access to journals and serials published worldwide, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies. Nearly 45,000 records are added annually.
MLA Tutorial - basic search. Choose Shockwave Flash file.

Academic Search Premier - Humanities[EBSCOhost]
Search this subset of full text peer-reviewed humanities journals indexed in Academic Search Premier.

Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder, which guides the user to full-text articles available at Thomason Library. The collections include journals in economics, history, political science, sociology, and humanities. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.


Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Key Journals   back to top


18th Century Studies
This journal selects essays that employ different modes of analysis and disciplinary discourses to explore how recent historiographical, critical, and theoretical ideas have engaged scholars concerned with the eighteenth century. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

ELH (English Literary History)
Superior studies interpreting the conditions affecting major works in English and American literature while publishing articles with an intelligent mix of historical, critical, and theoretical concerns.

The Explicator
This journal publishes short papers on passages of prose and poetry. Each issue contains between 25 and 30 notes on works of literature, ranging from ancient Greek and Roman times to our own, from throughout the world.

Prism(s): Essays in Romanticism [International Conference on Romanticism]
Online index of articles in this scholarly journal specifically devoted to the interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic study of Romanticism.

Addresses various issues in Romantic literature studies.

Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net
International refereed electronic journal devoted to British Romantic and Victorian studies which is indexed in MLA.

Romantic Circles Praxis Series [Orrin N. C. Wang, editor]
Devoted to using computer technologies to investigate critically the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism, RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and most exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.

Studies in English Literature
Focuses on four fields of British Literature which rotate quarterly as follows: Winter-English Renaissance, Spring - Tudor and Stuart Drama, Summer-Restoration and Eighteenth Century, and Autumn - Nineteenth Century with historical and critical essays which contribute to the understanding of English Literature.

Studies in Romanticism
A scholarly literary quarterly focused on Romanticism and early nineteenth-century literature.

Wordsworth Circle  
International quarterly journal publishing contemporary studies of literature, culture, and society primarily in England during the Romantic period from about 1760 to 1850. Directed toward
scholars, critics, and students, it focuses on the lives, works and times of Romantic period writers, topics (science, politics, religion, etc.) and special issues concerned with the teaching of Romanticism.

Journal Finder   back to top


Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals, magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Library article databases are inter-connected by Journal Finder, which will lead you to the full-text of an article when available.


Internet Resources:   back to top
General Romanticism Sources    

Literary Resources – Romanticism [Jack Lynch, Rutgers]
An extensive list of resources for Romanticism on the web.

Romanticism OnLine: A List of URLs [Laura Mandell, Dept. of English, Miami University]
A list of URLs of sites on the internet related to Romantic Studies.

The Voice of the Shuttle: Romanticism  [Alan Liu, UC Santa Barbara]
An extensive annotated guide to Romanticism-related resources on the Internet, arranged by category.

Romantic Circles  [University of Maryland]
A website devoted to the study of Romantic-period literature and culture.

The Web Concordances & Workbooks
Digital concordances of Shelley, Coleridge, Keats, Blake, Wordsworth, and Hopkins. Word bank on left links to occurrence of specific word in text of author’s work.

Women Romantic Era Writers  [Adriana Craciun, U. of California Riverside]
Links to electronic texts, annuals, anthologies, contemporary responses, and other web resources for women writers of the Romantic period.

Romanticism Associations  

back to top

British Association for Romantic Studies [BARS]
British society to promote the study of the cultural history of the Romantic period. Hosts a biennial international conference.

18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Association
Website for the 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Association, hosts an annual conference.

Byron Society of America [University of Delaware]
Hosts the semi-annual Byron Journal, annual Marchand memorial lectures, MLA Byron sessions, annual travel grants as well as the Byron Society Collection at the University of Delaware. ()

International Byron Society
Hosts an annual conference, awards travel grants for graduate students.

The Friends of Coleridge
A society that "aims to foster interest in the life and works of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge." The site maintains an online update of addenda to the Collected Edition of Coleridge's Poetical Works, as well as pages for The Coleridge Bulletin and their biennial International Coleridge Conference.

International Conference on Romanticism
A society of international scholars for the interdisciplinary study of Romanticism. ICR holds an annual conference and runs the interdisciplinary journal, Prism(s).

Jane Austen Society of North America [JASNA]
Home page of JASNA, includes information on annual general meetings and print publications.

Keats-Shelley Association of America
Provides information on the Keats-Shelley Journal, the Keats-Shelley House, which the Association maintains, the Keats Bicentennial Conference, the Mary Shelley Bicentennial Conference, various awards, research grants and a mentoring project, as well as the a bibliography on the younger generation of Romantics.

Keats-Shelley Memorial Association
Maintains and develop the Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome, the building in which Keats died in 1821 and administering and awarding the Keats-Shelley Prizes (poem and essay) each year.

North American Society for the Study of Romanticism [NASSR]
A site for the organization, including links to the NASSR listserve, European Romantic Review, and annual conferences. The Society was established in 1991 for the international study of Romanticism in all genres and disciplines.

Dove Cottage, The Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery[The Wordsworth Trust]
Site for the association that preserves Dove Cottage and hosts the annual Wordsworth Summer Conference.  

Special Collections and Manuscripts   back to top

An archive of electronic texts searchable by author or title of work. Take a look at Harvard Classics, Vol. 41 English Poetry II the second part of an extensive anthology of the greatest works of the English Romantic poets, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats. Click Chronological list of authors to browse.

Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era [New York Public Library Digital Library]
A selection of several dozen images including book illustrations and print series, reflecting literary and cultural history and the role of women during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

British Poetry Archive (1780-1910) [University of Virginia E-Text Center]
A short list of hypertext scholarly editions including The Coleridge Archive. Try the Modern English Collection link for additional works of British Literature.

Project Gutenberg
Producer of literary eBooks in the public domain, including works by Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Wordsworth, others.

Representative Poetry Online [University of Toronto]
Poetry archive, including a number of electronic texts of Romantic poetry.

Romantic Natural History [Ashton Nichols, Dickinson College]
An inter-linked collection of texts and images designed to survey relationships between literary works and natural history in the century before Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859).

William Blake Archive
[Library of Congress, UNC-Chapel Hill, UVA]
An online hypermedia environment allowing users to access high-quality electronic reproductions of a growing portion of Blake's work. These reproductions have been prepared according to the highest technical and scholarly standards, with the cooperation of a number of the major museum, library, and private collections.

William Blake: Illustrated Books  [New York Public Library Digital Gallery]

Three original books in "relief etching" by William Blake, who composed the texts, designed the texts and decorations, and printed the pages: America: A Prophecy (1793 [1794?]), Europe: A Prophecy (1794), and Milton (1804 [i.e. 1808?]). 6/08


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Teresa Inman 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
Copyright © 2008 by Presbyterian College • 503 South Broad Street • Clinton, South Carolina 29325 • 1-864-833-2820