William Ulmer

William Ulmer

Professor Emeritus

Research Areas

  • 19th-Century British Literature


William A. Ulmer specializes in British Romantic poetry and poetics, especially William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats.


Books Authored

  • John Keats: Reimagining History. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
  • The Christian Wordsworth, 1798–1805. Albany: State U of New York P, 2001.
  • Shelleyan Eros: The Rhetoric of Romantic Love. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1990.

Book Edited

  • Ezra Pound: The Legacy of Kulchur. With Marcel Smith. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1988.


  • “Serpent’s Tongue: The Byronism of Lamia,” forthcoming in Studies in Philology.
  • “Negative Capability: Identity and Truth in Keats,” Romanticism 25 (2019): 169-179.
  • “Tragic Consolation in ‘Ode to a Nightingale,’” Studies in Romanticism 55 (2016): 449-469.
  • “William Wordsworth and Philosophical Necessity,” Studies in Philology 110 (2013): 169-199.
  • “Radical Similarity: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Dejection Dialogue,” ELH 76 (2009):189-213.
  • “Answering ‘The Borderers’ in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,’” European Romantic Review 19 (2008): 233-46.
  • Christabel and the Origin of Evil,” Studies in Philology 104 (2007): 376-407.
  • “The Rhetorical Occasion of This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison,” Romanticism 13 (2007): 15-27.
  • “The Alienation of the Elect in Coleridge’s Unitarian Prophecies,” The Review of English Studies n.s. 57 (2006): 526-44.
  • “Virtue of Necessity: Coleridge’s Unitarian Moral Theory,” Modern Philology 102 (2005): 372-404.
  • “Necessary Evils: Unitarian Theodicy in The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere,” Studies in Romanticism 43 (2004): 327-56.
  • “The Society of Death in Home at Grasmere,” Philological Quarterly 75 (1996): 67-83.
  • “Wordsworth, the One Life, and The Ruined Cottage,” Studies in Philology 93 (1996): 304-331.
  • “The Christian Wordsworth, 1798-1800,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 95 (1996): 336-358.
  • “Rousseau’s Emile and Wordsworth’s Drowned Man of Esthwaite,” ELN 33 (1995): 15-19.
  • “Adonais and the Death of Poetry,” Studies in Romanticism 32 (1993): 425-51.
  • Hellas and the Historical Uncanny,” ELH 58 (1991): 611-32.
  • “The Politics of Metaphor in Shelley’s Epipsychidion,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 87 (1988): 535-57.
  • “M. H. Abrams,” Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 67. Ed. Gregory S. Jay. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. 3-11.
  • “E. K. Brown’s Matthew Arnold: A Study in Conflict,” The Arnoldian 15 (1987-1988): 91-94.
  • “The Dantean Politics of The Prisoner of Chillon,” Keats-Shelley Journal 35 (1986): 23-29.
  • “Romantic Modernity in Arnold’s Tristram and Iseult,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 27 (1985): 62-85.
  • “The Bright Girdle of ‘Dover Beach,’” ELN 22 (1985): 54-58.
  • “The Human Seasons: Arnold, Keats, and ‘The Scholar-Gipsy,’” Victorian Poetry 22 1984): 247- 62.
  • “Some Hidden Want: Aspiration in ‘To a Sky-Lark,’” Studies in Romanticism 23 (1984): 245- 58.
  • “‘Thyrsis’ and the Consolation of Natural Magic,” The Arnoldian 12 (1984): 32-43.

Reprinted Essays

  • Christabel and the Origin of Evil,” rpt. of Studies in Philology article, in Harold Bloom ed. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Bloom’s Modern Critical Views.  New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010. 171-202.
  • “Necessary Evils: Unitarian Theodicy in ‘The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere,’” rpt. of Studies in Romanticism article, in Michelle Lee, ed. Poetry Criticism (Detroit: Gale, 2010); and Kathy D. Darrow, ed. Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (Detroit: Gale, 2010)
  • “The Creative Soul,” excerpt from The Christian Wordsworth, 1798-1805 rpt. Stephen Gill, ed. The Prelude: A Casebook. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 259-91.
  • Adonais and the Death of Poetry,” abridged version of Studies in Romanticism article, rpt. Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, New Casebook Series. Ed. Peter J. Kitson. New York: St. Martin’s, 1996. 202-225.
  • “The Politics of Reception,” excerpt from Shelleyan Eros: The Rhetoric of Romantic Love, rpt. Michael O’Neill, ed. Shelley. London: Longman, 1993. 103- 21.
  • Adonais and the Death of Poetry,” Studies in Romanticism article, reprinted in Adonais section of “Percy Bysshe Shelley, British Romantic Literature, 1785-1830,” Litpaks Online, http.//
  • “Wordsworth, the One Life and The Ruined Cottage,” Studies in Philology article, reprinted in The Ruined Cottage section of “William Wordsworth, British Romantic Literature, 1785-1830,” Litpaks Online, http.//


  • In South Atlantic ReviewJEGPCriticismStudies in Romanticism, The Wordsworth Circle, The Coleridge Bulletin, and Review19.