The Bengal Annual: A Digital Exploration of Non-Canonical British Romantic Literature

Annotated Bibliography

The team sorted through all of the readings and external research from the Spring 2019 semester and found they relied upon the following readings to underpin their Digital Humanities project, especially in light of the ongoing research questions that popped up each session.

Ahmed, Siraj. "'An Unlimited Intercourse': Historical Contradictions and Imperial Romance in the Early Nineteenth Century." (2000).
Doing a critical reading of Owenson’s The Missionary and a discussion of the history of the British East India Company, Ahmed reveals the historical novel as a romantic allegory that elaborates the ideas of imperial stability being parallel to a mind-body dichotomy to emphasize a gap between European Reason and Indian Nature. Nature holds victory over Reason within romanticism, thus the imperial romance promotes its civilizing mission more wholeheartedly than the British colonial government’s politics of conquest that constructs native tradition rather than preserve it. This modern construction is then just another cunning artifice of civil progress that proves that an imperial presence threatens to reveal the true form of civil society’s own violent origins.

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso Books, 2006.
Anderson discusses the origins of nationalism and the concept of a nation with his idea of imagined communities which is imagined because “the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” Anderson states that it is a community because “regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.” According to Anderson, what allowed the creation of these imagined communities was the rise of print capitalism in 18th century Europe for it allowed the wide circulation of reading material through the masses in the vernacular brought diverse locales together through a shared language. Ultimately, it is through these imagined communities that they historically provided what the first states of the modern world should look like.

Arnold, Thomas. Observations on the Nature, Kinds, Causes, and Prevention of Insanity. Vol. 1. R. Phillips, 1806.

Arnold conveys the complex ideas of madness, insanity, and lunacy that affect the faculties of the mind where imagination is disturbed, affections perverted, and judgment depraved. With the 18th, the Century of Revolution, having been a period of new knowledge and discoveries, Arnold’s study offers a look into the technology and mindset of his time. Giving descriptions to these mental diseases, their conditions and treatments, Arnold offers an explanation behind the Romantic’s fascination behind the unconscious mind and reason.

Banham, Rob. "The Industrialization of the Book 1800–1970." A Companion to the History of the Book, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2008, pp. 273-290.
Banham narrates the industrialization of book production, reviewing innovations in paper, book binding, and press technologies. Important changes from the period of 1800-1830 emerged as the wooden press was replaced by the iron press, followed by Friedrich Koenig’s mechanized printing press, which, though cost-prohibitive for many printers, tripled output speeds. Those speeds were again tripled by new paper-feeding techniques. Banham notes the significance of lithography (popular mostly for small print-runs in the first half of the century) and color printing. 

Barbauld, Anna Letitia. "The Rights of Women." 1792. 

Serves as rallying call for women to rise up and challenge the power of man’s “imperial rule.” Rather than portray a woman’s feminine virtues as a form of weakness, Barbauld champions them as a form of strength. Though anachronistic, we might be able to label this as a “feminist” work in the Romantic era, along the same vein as Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. This can possibly be used to examine the way women are portrayed in The Bengal Annual.

Birch, Dinah, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 2009.
This dictionary provided a definition called "Roman a Clef" that offered an explanation on why Captain McNaughten omitted the person in his "To---" poem.  

Black, Joseph “The Natural, The Human, The Supernatural, and the Sublime: Contexts.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, vol. b, Edited by Joseph Black, Leonard Conolly, Kate Flint, Isobel Grundy, Don LePan, Roy Liuzza, Jerome J. McGann, Anne Lake Prescott, Barry Qualls, Claire Waters, Broadview Press, 2013, pp. 227-276.

Black, Joseph “India and the Orient.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, vol. b, Edited by Joseph Black, Leonard Conolly, Kate Flint, Isobel Grundy, Don LePan, Roy Liuzza, Jerome J. McGann, Anne Lake Prescott, Barry Qualls, Claire Waters, Broadview Press, 2013.
Introductory material that helps with the historical happenings with the British Empire and the East India Trading Company. There are also additional secondary sources that discuss Indian education, the impeachment of Warren Hastings, governor of Bengal, along with his defense. Included also is Henry Yule’s and A.C. Burnell’s Hobsonjobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical, and Discursive. This source can certainly help orient us (no pun intended) whenever these phrases come up in the Bengal Annual.

Chander, Manu Samriti. Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century. Bucknell University Press, 2017.
This work can help us expand what we can consider a “Brown Romantic.” According to Chander, to be a Brown Romantic is more of a geo-political term than of race. Brown romantics had a seat at the table but were limited. They often served as “Native informants.” They were aspiring to be a poet of the same reputation of Wordsworth but would never arrive. We can use this source to inform our research whenever we are dealing with an author that is not British in the Bengal. 

Charlotte Smith Story Map.” Charlotte Smith Story Map | Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning,
The Charlotte Smith Story Map presents a geographical biography of Charlotte Smith, plotting out the various places she moved to in her life. Her frequent moves paint a portrait of a woman who would go anywhere she had to to take care of her family, and the strain her abusive husband put her through. Her poetry is derived from her suffering during her chaotic and unstable life.

"Circulations: Romanticism and the Black Atlantic." Romantic Circles
Although these texts feature an array of criticism/concepts, the main thing that links them is examination of the slave trade in the British colonies—particularly, the West Indies. One of the articles, (“Blood Sugar and Salt Licks…”) discusses the importance of the salt industry, salt production, and salt distribution in the Caribbean slave trade and its importance in Mary Prince’s narrative; the aforementioned article expresses how salt played a role in distorting/warping the bodies of slaves. In regard to our research questions that aim to tackle questions of “beauty” the “gaze of the colonizer,” and the history of slaves in the West Indies, these articles are insightful in examining the importance of capturing the voices of the Black Romantics.

Conder, Josiah. "Reviwers Reviewed." 1811. PDF file.

A text that deals with the subject of “taste” and the importance of the role of Critic in determining what works are of value to audiences. Provides specific details about how different forms of taste are determined by the reviewer. Also mentions that reviewers have a certain responsibility to the readership to ensure that only quality works are funneled through. This can provide us with context about how taste influenced the compilation of the Bengal Annual and what works were included in it.

Derozio, Henry. "To India-My Native Land'." Early Indian Poetry in English: An Anthology 1829-1947 (1980). 
This poem is a proper example of Indian poems that critique colonialism and resist Empire. Expressing his grief for the loss of his country, Derozio clearly proclaims his thoughts and feelings towards the British colonization of India. Despite not mentioning who is responsible for India’s loss of beauty, Derozio uses mirrors motif of orientalism within British Romantic writing with Nature and Sublime and makes it serve his purpose to justly portray his homeland to his British contemporaries by appealing to their shared taste in Romantic writing.

Eschner, Kat. "Women Were Better Represented in Victorian Novels than Modern Ones." Smithsonian, 14 Feb. 2018, Web. Accessed 18 Apr. 2019.
Interesting article that discusses that data trend that women novelists declined between the 19th and 20th century. The digital tools used was also able to highlight key words or phrases that were typically affiliated with a particular gender. The article argues that these algorithms can interrupt previously conceived notions of the history and trend of literature. We can possibly use these algorithms to find tends or voices that are silent or missing.

Gibson, Mary Ellis. “Transforming Late Romanticism, Transforming Home” from A History of Indian Poetry in English 
This book chapter in A History of Indian Poetry in English looks at how nineteenth century writers of Anglophone verse in India explored tropes of late Romanticism. Gibson uses the concepts of belatedness and remoteness to contextualize the poetry and prose written by women in India. She argues that those concepts have a physical dimension defined by India’s distance from the metropole and its publishing venues, but they also echo issues faced by women writing in England, whose work was considered secondary to men’s (belated), addressing topics that were peripheral (remote). She illustrates how this contributed to an increasingly male-dominated canon in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Harris, Katherine D. “Archive” Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary for Information, Society, and Culture. Ed. Benjamin Peters. Princeton University Press, 2016.

This article will help us in our understanding of what a digital Archive is and how it interacts with its reader and user. A digital archive goes beyond that of the traditional physical archive. The term expands beyond the mere collection of works, but history and progression of a particular document, and the “hyper-links” to other resources that help the reader engage with the digital text with new knowledge. It’s a data-base. In a sense, we will be applying this theory to the Bengal Annual in our digital project. 

Harris, Katherine D. Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835. Ohio University Press, 2015.

An important text that can help us understand the history of the British annuals and their impact on audiences/readership, as well as their overall design/aesthetic. Breaks down the historical influences that helped to shape the annuals’ production, the annuals’ popularity, and its mode of distribution. Also features sections on the use and importance of “emblems” (engravings), with supporting illustrations in-text. Additionally, it covers the concept of authorial ownership for written works.

Heinowitz, Rebecca Cole. "The Allure of the Same: Robert Southey's Welsh Indians and the Rhetoric of Good Colonialism."

Heinowitz offers a view into the overlooked subject within the context of British colonial expansion, that being the complex rhetoric of sameness from British Imperialism in India and Spanish America during the 19th century. The rhetoric of otherness was a device often used to justify the actions colonialism through the emphasis of placing a necessity of improving the benighted and savage other, but the rhetoric of sameness served to diminish these accusations and the horrors of colonialism by addressing the naturalness and moral uprightness of imperialism. The purpose of this rhetoric of sameness was thus meant to bring about a form of good colonialism with the writings of Edmund Burke attempting to express this colonial guilt within India whereas Robert Southey’s epic poem Madoc did something similar within Spanish America, both seeing good colonialism as the only principled reaction against self-interested commerce.

Krishnaswamy, Revathi. "Nineteenth-century language ideology: A postcolonial perspective" Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 7:1 2005. pp. 43-71.
Krishnaswamy uses Raymond Schwab’s concept of an “oriental renaissance” (which, in his 1950 book, explored the role of the “orient” in French and German culture from 1770 to 1870) to foreground her discussion of Edward Said’s Orientalism and Foucault’s The Order of Things in relation to language ideology. Krishnaswamy argues that 19th century language studies represent a less-explored vein of ethnocentrism in European political philosophy. She looks at how nineteenth century comparative philology led to the development of linguistics as a formal, scientific field of study. Her examples of how Sanskrit’s rigorous grammar was studied by European scholars sheds light on ways that Romanticism developed by drawing on Orientalism.

Land, Isaac. “On the Foundings of Sierra Leone, 1787-1808.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. [May 14, 2019].
Land’s article provides a critical analysis of history of abolition within Sierra Leonne, what was once a trading point for slaves which later became as an British experiment for a “Province of Freedom” bearing similarities with Thomas Jefferson’s plan for ending slavery in Virginia and the Marquis de Lafayette’s experiment in free black labor in French Guiana. This project represented extraordinary risks due to Sierra Leonne being filled with slave traders who opposed the abolitionist movement and were likely re-enslave the settlers. By investigating the individuals who were sent to Sierra Leonne and the reason or the location out of the many others, Land discusses the larger meaning and context behind the legacy of the “Province of Freedom.”

Macaulay, Thomas. "Minute on Indian Education." The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, vol. b, Edited by Joseph Black, Leonard Conolly, Kate Flint, Isobel Grundy, Don LePan, Roy Liuzza, Jerome J. McGann, Anne Lake Prescott, Barry Qualls, Claire Waters, Broadview Press, 2013.
This essay is a sub-section of "Indian and the Orient" of the Broadview Anthology. This essay is an example of a colonialist putting forth propositions of educating Indian natives by English standards, arguing that Indian literature and culture are lesser than European. 

McNaghten, Captain. “To __________” by Captain McNaghten. Bengal Annual. ed David Lester Richardson. Samuel Smith and Co, 1830. pp. 117
This poem is an ode that mystifies the subject. By leaving the name out of the poem, the speaker distances himself from the subject. The main reason for his relational severance is because of religious differences. 
Supplemental - Literary Annuals & Publishing

“Rethinking Company Paintings” Romantic Circles
This gallery contains drawings of India by William Daniell that were included in The Oriental Annual (London, 1834-40) as well as miniature paintings done by Indian artists working in the Company style. The collection suggests that Company style art did not just represent a movement from “traditional” Indian art toward the British “picturesque” through the adoption of European techniques, but reveals a more complex interplay of influences and transculturation, which can be read through representation of the colonized body. The gallery’s curation also suggestions that “exposure to the Company style potentially changed and developed the British Romantic concept of the picturesque.”

Richardson, Lester David. “Sonnet: To England” Bengal Annual. ed David Lester Richardson. Samuel Smith and Co, 1830. pp. 40
Possibly written by a homesick voyager, “Sonnet to England” details how a lone traveler may be seduced away by foreign charms, but that truly, nothing compares to England. England is described as having fair cottages and a lovely countryside. This article not only demonstrates English nationalism, but also an orientalist perspective. Here, the oriental is seen as lesser and a “dreary” second to England, which is far “fairer” (a term that portrays the image of England as a pale, beautiful maiden.)

Said, Edward. Orientalism. Pantheon Books, 1978.
This text naturally will help us when engaging with the discourse of Orientalism. In his introduction, Said shows the reader the dynamics and nuances that take place between the British Empire and the “Orient.” He also clearly defines for us that Orientalism is the discourse of Britian engaging with the countries of Asia, the Middle-East, and India. 

Schurer, Norbert. “The Impartial Spectator of Sati, 1757-84”  Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 42, No. 1. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. pp. 19-44
This is research that shows that the performance of sati was in fact an extreme religious practice. However, through the popularization of British literature, it was made to seem a more common practice. 

Schwab, Raymond. Oriental Renaissance: Europe's Rediscovery of India and the East, 1680-1880. Columbia University Press,1984.
Schwab's main discussion in this reading is the excitement of the British imagination. “The Orient’s” language, landscape, and images became a site for an revitalization and rejuvenation for the British poets. “The Orient” became a new site for literary imagery, metaphor, and symbolism. We should be able to see moments in the Bengal (especially sense the work was published in Calcutta) where we see some of this “revitalization” that would otherwise not be there if the British romantics did not engage with the countries like India.

Simpson, J.A. and E.S.C. Weiner, Eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1989.
Used this source to define "Savage" in "Kubla Kahn" explication

Smith, Charlotte. “Sonnet: On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland Overlooking the Sea, Because It Was Frequented by a Lunatic by Charlotte Smith.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, Smith was a female British author who captured the emotions and thoughts of a marginalized citizen in her sonnets, which mostly detailed her experiences as a depressed person who found death to be sublime. To Charlotte, her body was a prison that caused her constant pain. She saw death as a way to be free from her body and her suffering--but also found it to be terrifying.

Smith, Charlotte. "Thirty-Eight. To Mrs ____y." Elegaic Sonnets. 1783.
Written while in debtor's prison with her husband and children, this and many poems in Smith's Elegaic Sonnets features a speaker reflecting on one's life circumstances. This poem (supposedly addressed to one of Smith's close friends) is from the perspective of a woman who is grappling with her faded youth and the reality of her present age (thirty-eight). This poem was annotated to illustrate the differences in the way female and male poets of the Romantic era discuss the concept of beauty and the subject of the feminine mind and its ability to demonstrate reason and forward thinking.

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998. 
This source was used to help explicate the "To--" poem. The speaker indicates that he must not love his Hindu lover because of their religious conflicts. 

"The Minstrel" pg. 119, "The Song of Cymry" pg. 327, and "The Renovating Fount: Part 1 and 2" pg. 286, The Bengal Annual
These poems pulled from the Bengal Annual shows the hybridity of both cultures of British and Indian within the form of romantic writing. With “The Minstrel” and “Song of Cymry”, these two poems serve as the basic example of British romantic writing with their usage of setting with old buildings and recounting of the past that is romanticized with legend. “The Recounting Fount” mirrors many of these elements but utilizes Indian culture by using setting and stories within India. It thus reveals the adoption of British culture assimilating with that of India’s.

“The Rajpootni Bride” (pp.144-170) ch 8-9—Rev Hobart Caunter, The Oriental Annual (1835)

This text from the Oriental Annual is a prime example of the usage of Orientalism within romantic writing.  From the mystifying of its heroine to the savagery of the men, it reinforces imperial attitudes by portraying the East in a way that paints the West as superior. Within this story, it also possesses the popular motif of sati, bridal self-immolation, with it providing heavy inquiry and thought into the meaning behind this visceral scene.

Wordsworth, William. "Preface to the Second Edition of the Lyrical Ballads." 1800.
Wordsworth's Preface was included with the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, published in 1800, and has endured as a defining text for values of Romantic poetry. In the Preface, Wordsworth states his intention to use the common language of man to depict common people in his collection of poems, which was a radical idea at the time. At the same time, he states that a discerning, poetic mind is required to give “importance to the action and the situation,” maintaining a distance between the poet and the common man. He also emphasizes that poetry is a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” uniting Romantic literary concepts of memory, emotion, and common experience.

Wordsworth, William. “The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, This poem is integral to the understanding the Big Six's view on nature. They believed that Nature made us recognize our place in this world and kept us from being too proud or greedy. Nature to the big six was a powerful, sublime, and humbling force necessary for the growth of the individual to correctly occur.

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