In Byron's Shadow

In Byron's Shadow : Modern Greece in the English and American Imagination

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Modern Greece constructed by the early nineteenth-century ideals and ideas associated with Byron, has been 'haunted, holy ground' in English and American literature for almost two centuries. In Byron's Shadow analyses how authors employ ideas about romantic nationalism, gender politics, shifts in cultural constructions, and literary experimentation to create variations of Greece to suit changing eras. Complementing and complicating Edward Said's view of relations between East and West, Roessel discusses the way perceptions of modern Greece have been shaped by historical events, arguing that the Greek struggle for independence became a touchstone in the English and American imagination of the nineteenth century, and that twentieth-century Greece became a symbol of the attitudes and ideals that many believed caused the Great War.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 159 x 243.8 x 31.8mm | 762.05g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195143868
  • 9780195143867

Review quote

Compulsive intellectual page-turners are rare delights. To get three in one year has been serendipity indeed. First, David Roessel's In Byron's Shadow. This astringent investigation picks up the Anglo-American literary love-affair with Hellenism around 1770, and carries the story on to 1967 and beyond. Roessel's scholarship is prodigious, his judgment sharp, his anecdotes often mischievous. * Peter Green, International Books of the Year, Times Literary Supplement (2001) * It's hard to find fault with this book ... This book is a sheer delight. It is rare to come across such a combination of readability, anecdotal pleasure, intelligence, research (including the ability to wade through some pretty terrible fiction), erudition and passion. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * It is a pleasure to be able to recommend a new study which is well researched, thoughtful, and careful, and which employs the most modern analytical approaches ... should be regarded as essential reading by everyone interested in the modern history of Greece ... Roessel's book joins the small group of works which should be on the shelves of every philhellene. * The Anglo-Hellenic Review * In Byron's Shadow charts with enormous diligence and unfailing insight a subject hitherto inchoate. Refreshingly free from overt political or theoretical bias, this carefully-researched book constitutes a major contribution to the burgeoning field of Orientalism. * The Byron Journal * Historical scholarship at its best, this finely-balanced overview should by its insights and range of reference open up new areas for investigation. Detailed footnotes engage with the work of others, and Roessel includes a comprehensive bibliography and a somewhat selective index. Splendid work! * The Byron Journal * Along with offering useful readings of particular literary texts, Roessel provides a clear-eyed, un-pedantic guide to the tangled web of freedom-fighting and nation-building that actually occurred in a land that has proven enduringly fascinating to the Anglo-American imagination. The result: a rich, accessible, and edifying treatment of a subject well worth the scholarly digging and the intellectual voyage. * The Wordsworth Circle * ... ambitious and thought-provoking. * The Wordsworth Circle * ... an eclectic blend of literary criticism, political history, and conceptual geography. * The Wordsworth Circle *show more

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