The Publisher

Richard Gravil has taught at the University of Victoria, B.C., the University of Lodz, Poland and the University of Otago, New Zealand. He concluded his teaching career as Course Leader of the University of Exeter MA in Anglo-American Literary Relations. He was co-founder of the ground-breaking journal, Symbiosis: a Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations and is currently Chairman of the Wordsworth Conference Foundation. He is co-edting The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth which is due to be published in the first half of 2014.


Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation, 1787–1842.

Palgrave, 2003

Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation

Richard Gravil's richly rewarding monograph is ... one of the most important publications on Wordsworth in recent years
—Matthew Scott, YES

A remarkable account of Wordsworth’s long writing life, deeply inward with the textures of Wordsworth's life and writings, ... It is difficult to imagine a better explicator of this most complex of modern poets: ... scholarly and humane, sharp-eyed and good-humoured ... a companionable guide for seasoned Wordsworthian and newcomer alike.
—Seamus Perry

Richard Gravil's outstandingly original book reveals in fascinating detail how William Wordsworth ... attuned his poetry to the bardic voices of the ancient world. The Wordsworth that emerges is freshly situated in his own cultural milieu and times, and speaks to us with renewed vitality.
—Nicholas Roe

[This] erudite exposition, profligate with its ideas ... succeeds as few others have done in apprehending Wordsworth's career holistically, incorporating all its diversities and apparent inconsistencies into a unified vision. It justifies fully the notion proposed by Hughes and Heaney that he was England's last national poet.
—Duncan Wu, RES

Engaged and refreshingly direct ... this is criticism which discusses craft and concept with equal facility and insight.
—Damian Walford Davies, Romanticism

Romantic Dialogues: Anglo-American Continuities, 1776–1862.

St Martin’s Press, 2000.

Romantic Dialogues: Anglo-American Continuities, 1776–1862.  St Martin’s Press, 2000.

Gravil's deft and learned application of key texts in British Romanticism to works by Thoreau, Melville, Dickinson, Whitman and Hawthorne powerfully challenges the easy presumption of an autochtonous American writing. —Kurt Eisen, American Literature (73:4 ) December 2001

Gravil adds significantly to our knowledge of cross-Atlantic connections and lays the groundwork for new considerations of an obviously important but strangely neglected field of study. — Kenneth Price, Romantic Circles

Romantic Dialogues is a ground-breaking study which bears witness to a generous, vigilant, and witty critical intelligence, it convinces the reader that nineteenth-century British and American literatures reveal a potent strain of consanguinity and must be studied side by side. —Michael O'Neill, Symbiosis, October, 2001 (Read this review online)

An extraordinary achievement ... This is real work —Robert Weisbuch, NEQ

Wordsworth and Helen Maria Williams; or, the Perils of Sensibility.

Humanities-Ebooks, 2010.


  • Wordsworth: The Prelude. Casebook. Edited with W. J. Harvey. Macmillan, 1972

  • Swift: Gulliver’s Travels. Casebook. Macmillan, 1974.

  • Coleridge’s Imagination: Essays in Memory of Pete Laver. Edited with Lucy Newlyn and Nicolas Roe. Cambridge University Press, 1986. 'An attractive and stimulating anthology of critical essays' —Peter Morgan, English Studies. 'These papers are all full of interest, and, whether by accident or editorial design, ... gratifyingly interconnected or contrasted.' —W. J. B. Owen, Review of English Studies. Now in Paperback, 2007, ISBN-13: 9780521033992

  • The Coleridge Connection: Essays for Thomas McFarland. Edited with Molly Lefebure. Macmillan, 1990. Revised Electronic Edition, HEB 2007. 'The Coleridge Connection is much more than a case history of one man's compulsion to create vicarious selves. It is an attempt to account for the variety of those selves, and for the different kinds of creative "symbiosis" which each relationship involved'. ' —Lucy Newlyn

  • Master Narratives: Tellers and Telling in the English Novel. In Memory of Bill Ruddick. Ashgate, 2001. Electronic Edition, HEB 2007. 'The issues raised by this collection are such that it calls in return for another volume of discussion rather than a brief review. Equally, it could serve well as the core text for a seminar on all these issues in the novel...' —John Beer, Charles Lamb Bulletin

  • The Republic of Poetry: Anglo-American Continuities from Bradstreet to Postmodernity. A Special Double-Issue of Symbiosis, April 2003.

Coleridge's Imagination

The Coleridge ConnectionMaster Narratives

ESSAYS (selected)

  • ‘Wordsworth’s Ontology of Love in The Prelude’, Critical Quarterly, 16:3 (1974): 231–49.

  • ‘Romantic Irony and Existential Engagement: Continental Theory and English Poetry’. Acta Universitatis Lódziensis, 66 (1980): 3–26.

  • Lyrical Ballads (1798): Wordsworth as Ironist’. Critical Quarterly, 24:4 (1982): 39–57. [Revised in Wordsworth's Bardic Vocation, 2003]

  • ‘Wordsworth's Second Selves: Hill, Heaney, Hughes and some Contemporaries’, The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. 14, No.4 (1983).

  • ‘Imagining Wordsworth: 1797-1807-1817’. In Gravil, Newlyn and Roe, eds, Coleridge’s Imagination, CUP, pp. 129–142.

  • ‘"Some Other Being": Wordsworth in The Prelude’. In The French Revolution in English Art and Literature, ed. J. R. Watson, The Year’s Work in English Studies 19 (1989):127–143. Collected in Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Detroit, 1993.

  • ‘"Knowledge not Purchased with the Loss of Power": Pestalozzi and the "spots of time."’ European Romantic Review 8:3 (Summer, 1997): 231–61.

  • ‘James Fenimore Cooper and the Spectre of Edmund Burke.’ Romanticism on the Net. 14 (May 1999). Online. Internet.

  • ‘Incautious utterance’? ‘Tintern Abbey’ and ‘The System of Nature’. Romanticism, 6.1 (Spring 2000) pp. 35–54. [Revised in Wordsworth's Bardic Vocation, 2003].

  • ‘Regicide and Ethnic Cleansing: Fenimore Cooper’s The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish.’ Symbiosis, 4.2 (October 2000).

  • ‘Negotiating Mary Barton’. In Richard Gravil, ed., Master Narratives: Tellers and Telling in the English Novel. London and Vermont: Ashgate, 2001.

  • ‘The Androgyny of Bleak House’. In Master Narratives: Tellers and Telling in the English Novel. London and Vermont: Ashgate, 2001.

  • 'Emily Dickinson (and Walt Whitman): The Escape from Locksley Hall', in The Republic of Poetry: Anglo-American Continuities from Bradstreet to Postmodernity. A special issue of Symbiosis, 7.1 (April 2003).

  • ‘The Wordsworthian Metamorphosis of Natty Bumppo’, in Joel Pace and Matthew Scott, eds, Wordsworth in American Literary Culture, Palgrave, 2005.

  • 'The Somerset Sound: or, "the Darling Child of Speech"' [on Thelwall as poet] The Coleridge Bulletin, n.s. 26 (Winter 2005), 1–21.

  • ‘"The Sunless Land": Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Virgil and Ossian'. For Mary Wedd. Charles Lamb Bulletin n.s. 136 (October 2006) pp.113-130.

  • 'The first 'Poem to Coleridge': a dialogic reading of Wordsworth's Intimations'. Humanities-Ebooks Essays Online. 2007.

  • 'Is The Excursion a Metrical Novel?' In Grasmere 2010: Selected Essays from the Wordsworth Summer Conference. Humanities-Ebooks, 2010.

STUDY GUIDES (available online and in print from Pearson Education)

 Selected Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. York Notes Advanced. York Press, 2000.

Gulliver's Travels with A Modest Proposal. York Notes Advanced. York Press, 2001.Dickens: Bleak House. York Notes Advanced. York Press, 2001

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