Originally presented at a conference on ‘Humour and Satire in British Romanticism’, held at Durham University in September 2019, the essays in this issue each explore in various ways the open-endedness of these modes of writing. For Burns, Byron, Lamb, and Campbell, humour is shown to take on a function almost as a tool of self-analysis. Its ability to subvert assumptions and mores becomes a means of voicing transgressive impulses or shaping personal and authorial identities despite social and rational restraints. The essays on the work of children’s literature 'The Feast of the Fishes', the Tory magazine 'The Satirist, or Monthly Meteor', and Benjamin Disraeli’s novel 'Vivian Gray' present satire playing a similarly ambivalent and exploratory role. Asking questions both of their society and of themselves, the writers discussed here do use satire as a means of attack, but one with a greater degree of self-awareness and often ambiguity than simple denunciation or polemic. Each takes a pleasure in the probing and identity-forming capabilities of satire that goes beyond a simple assertion of moral values.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine86
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Benjamin Disraeli
  • Burns
  • Byron
  • Charles Lamb
  • Children's literature
  • Humour
  • Romantic poetry
  • Satire
  • The Satirist
  • Thomas Campbell


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