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July 1977
288 pages  

6 x 9
9780822984610
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Ruins and Empire
The Evolution of a Theme in Augustan and Romantic Literature
Goldstein, Laurence
One of the most common scenes in Augustan and Romantic literature is that of a writer confronting some emblem of change and loss, most often the remains of a vanished civilization or a desolate natural landscape. Ruins and Empire traces the ruin sentiment from its earliest classical and Renaissance expressions through English literature to its establishment as a dominant theme of early American art.

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Laurence Goldstein is professor of English at the University of Michigan.
“Mr. Goldstein has given us a pleasurable book. It moves across an extended tract of time and a number of authors, major and minor, and it moves well and easily. We go confidently with him as one who reads his texts with a ready intelligence. . . . He has always something interesting to say, he has lights to throw on his poets, or occasional novelist or artist, and he has a valuable story to tell, and to tell with style.”—Modern Language Review

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One of the most common scenes in Augustan and Romantic literature is that of a writer confronting some emblem of change and loss, most often the remains of a vanished civilization or a desolate natural landscape. Ruins and Empire traces the ruin sentiment from its earliest classical and Renaissance expressions through English literature to its establishment as a dominant theme of early American art.
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