Literary History and Critical Historicism: Reading Wordsworth’s Juvenal

Stuart Gillespie

in Romans and Romantics

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199588541
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741845 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Literary History and Critical Historicism: Reading Wordsworth’s Juvenal

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The imitation of Juvenal's Eighth Satire composed by William Wordsworth and Francis Wrangham in the 1790s was suppressed and went unpublished in anything like complete form until as recently as 1997. Its shadowy status in the Wordsworth corpus raises key questions about the reception of both Wordsworth and Juvenal: about how Wordsworth has been positioned in relation to the classics, and about the place of Roman satire in the writing of the Romantic age. The sudden assimilation of the imitation to currently dominant interpretive models in the 1997 scholarly edition provides a consciousness-raising moment for all those ambitious of interpreting formal verse satire whether ancient or modern: Wordsworth's imitation can for us be a way of reading Juvenal, but first we need to ask what interpretive framework is to be applied.

Keywords: Juvenal; Juvenal Satire 8; reception; William Wordsworth; Francis Wrangham; verse satire

Chapter.  7269 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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