30. Sexual Politics and the Performance of Gender in Romantic Poetry

  1. Charles Mahoney Associate Professor of English
  1. James Najarian Associate Professor of English

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch30

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

How to Cite

Najarian, J. (2010) Sexual Politics and the Performance of Gender in Romantic Poetry, in A Companion to Romantic Poetry (ed C. Mahoney), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch30

Editor Information

  1. University of Connecticut, USA

Author Information

  1. Boston College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 26 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405135542

Online ISBN: 9781444390650



  • sexual politics and performance of gender - in Romantic poetry;
  • Romanticism, represented - conglomeration of male writers, largely poets;
  • gender, entering the study of Romantic literature - opening up the canon to poets;
  • late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries - proper roles of women and men;
  • French Revolution and Napoleonic wars and reaction - anxiety about a “feminine” and “masculine” citizenry;
  • Felicia Hemans and the uses of domesticity;
  • contesting masculinity in Leigh Hunt - Hunt depicted, not only as degenerate but somehow less than masculine;
  • Hunt, recognizing importance of battle over masculinity - apparent in his revisions to the poem;
  • John Keats and sexuality of the poet - sexualized critical reception of John Keats in the nineteenth century;
  • Susan Wolfson's, “Romanticism is nothing if not a various, ever-shifting force field of gender attractions and performances”


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Felicia Hemans and the Uses of Domesticity

  • Contesting Masculinity in Leigh Hunt

  • John Keats and the Sexuality of the Poet

  • Conclusion

  • References and Further Reading