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Reiman, Donald H(enry) 1934-

REIMAN, Donald H(enry) 1934-

PERSONAL: Born May 17, 1934, in Erie, PA; son of Henry Ward (a teacher) and Mildred A. (a teacher; maiden name, Pearce) Reiman; married Mary Warner (a rare book restorer and conservator), September 6, 1958 (divorced); married Helene Dworzan (a writer and teacher), October 3, 1975; children: (first marriage) Laurel Elizabeth. Education: College of Wooster, B.A., 1956; University of Illinois, M.A., 1957, Ph.D., 1960. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Presbyterian.

ADDRESSES: Home—6495 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10471. Office—Room 226, New York Public Library, Fifth Ave. and 42nd St., New York, NY 10018. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Duke University, Durham, NC, instructor, 1960-62, assistant professor of English, 1962-64; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, associate professor of English, 1964-65; Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, New York, NY, editor of Shelley and His Circle, 1965—. Adjunct professor of English, City University of New York, New York, 1967-68; adjunct professor of English and senior research associate, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1969-74; visiting professor of English, St. Johns University, New York, NY, 1974-75, and University of Washington, Seattle, 1981; James P. R. Lyell Reader in Bibliography, Oxford University, Oxford, England, 1988-89; currently adjunct professor of English Romanticism, University of Delaware, Newark.

MEMBER: Modern Humanities Research Association, Modern Language Association of America, Keats-Shelley Association of America (treasurer, 1973—), Charles Lamb Society, Byron Society, Wordsworth-Coleridge Association, Society for Textual Scholarship, Association for Documentary Evidence, Bibliographical Society of America, Better World Society, American Association of University Professors, Common Cause, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi.

AWARDS, HONORS: American Council of Learned Societies grant, 1961-62, study fellow, 1963-64; associate fellow, Center for Advanced Study, Wesleyan University, 1963-64; National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend, 1978; Litt.D., College of Wooster, 1981; National Endowment for the Humanities editing grants, 1983-86, 1986-88, 1988-90.


Shelley's "Triumph of Life": A Critical Study, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1965.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Twayne (New York, NY), 1968, revised edition, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1989.

(Editor) Shelley and His Circle, 1773-1822, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), Volumes 5-6, 1973, Volumes 7-8, 1986.

(Editor) The Romantics Reviewed, nine volumes, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1972.

(With Doucet Devin Fischer) Byron on the Continent, New York Public Library (New York, NY), 1974.

(Editor) The Romantic Context: Poetry, 128 volumes, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1976-79.

(With Sharon B. Powers) Shelley's Poetry and Prose, Norton (New York, NY), 1977.

English Romantic Poetry, 1800-1835, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1979.

(Editor) The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts: A Facsimile Edition, with Full Transcriptions and Scholarly Apparatus, Volume 1: Peter Bell the Third, the Press-Copy Transcript . . . and "The Triumph of Life," 1984, Volume 7: Shelley's Last Notebook and Other MSS: Bodleian MS Shelley add. e. 15 and adds. e. 20, together with Additional Portions of the Holograph MSS. of "A Defence of Poetry" from Shelley adds. c. 4., Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics: A Facsimile Edition, with Scholarly Introductions, Bibliographical Descriptions, and Annotations, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor) The Esdaile Notebook: A Facsimile of the Holograph Copybook in the Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor) The Mask of Anarchy: Facsimiles of the Intermediate Fair-Copy Holograph in the . . . British Library: The Press-Copy Transcription by Mary W. Shelley in the Library of Congress; Proofs of the First Edition, 1832 (Corrected by Leigh Hunt) in the . . . University of Iowa; and a Holograph Addition to Leigh Hunt's Preface in . . . the British Library, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor) Hellas: A Lyrical Drama: A Facsimile of the Press-Copy Transcript, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1985.

Romantic Texts and Contexts, University of Missouri Free Press (Columbia, MO), 1987.

Intervals of Inspiration: The Skeptical Tradition and the Psychology of Romanticism, Penkevill Publishing (Greenwood, FL), 1988.

(Editor) The Harvard Shelley Manuscripts: Facsimiles of Two Fair-Copy Notebooks of Shelley's Poetry at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, with Other Related Manuscripts at Harvard in the Pierpont Morgan Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

The Study of Modern Manuscripts: Public, Confidential, and Private, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993.

(Author of introduction, with Michael J. Neth) The Hellas Notebook: Bodleian MS. Shelley adds. E.7: Including False Starts and Canceled Passages for Hellas, Shelley's Research Notes for "Charles the First," and Drafts for Several Lyrics: A Facsimile Edition, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Michael O'Neill) Fair-Copy Manuscripts of Shelley's Poems in European and American Libraries: Including Percy Bysshe Shelley's Holographs and Copies in the Hand of Mary W. Shelley, Located in the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Switzerland, as well as theHolograph Draft of Keats's Robin Hood, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Neil Fraistat) The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume 1, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2000.

(Editor, with Neil Fraistat) Shelley's Poetry and Prose: Authoritative Texts, Criticism, Norton (New York, NY), 2001.


Frank Jordan, editor, The English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research and Criticism, 3rd revised edition, Modern Language Association of America (New York, NY), 1972.

John D. Baird, editor, Editing Texts of the Romantic Period, Hakkert (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972.

M. H. Abrams, editor, Norton Anthology of English Literature, Norton (New York, NY), 1974.

(And editor, with others) The Evidence of the Imagination, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1978.

Robert A. McCown, editor, The Life and Times of Leigh Hunt, Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries (Iowa City, IA), 1985.

Also contributor to Editing and Editors, A Retrospect: Papers Given at the Twenty-First Annual Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toronto, 1-2 November 1985, edited by Richard Landon, AMS Press, 1988. Contributor to several other books on literary criticism and teaching the Romantic poets.

Contributor of essays and reviews on works such as Beowulf and authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Salinger, Hopkins, Arnold, Yeats, Cowper, and Henry James. Contributor to The Reader's Encyclopedia of English Literature, New Catholic Encyclopedia, and Encyclopedia Americana. Contributor of numerous articles and reviews on English and American literature to scholarly journals.

Member of editorial board, Keats-Shelley Journal, 1968-73, PMLA, 1969-70; member of advisory board, Milton and the Romantics, 1975-80, Studies in Romanticism, 1977—, Romanticism Past and Present, 1980-86, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 1987—, Nineteenth-Century Literature, 1986—.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Additional volumes of Shelley and His Circle; further volumes in both The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics and The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts: Public, Confidential, and Private; essays on sociological and contextual issues associated with the Romantic tradition from the early nineteenth century to the present, to be collected in a volume with the working title, Romantic Society; essays on major English and American writers from Chaucer to the Postmodernists, to be collected in a volume with the working title, Ethical Continuity and the Literary Canon.

SIDELIGHTS: Donald H. Reiman once told CA: "My basic belief is that scholars and critics are servants of the creative writers they study, though no reader of Romantic Texts and Contexts will doubt that I also see a place for the humanistic expression of the scholar-critic's personal values and aspirations. No critic can totally escape the subjectivity of the human condition, or evade errors and unintentional distortions in descriptions of the works of others, but we needn't wallow in those limitations. If critics would study and struggle to represent the great writers and their works as fully and forthrightly as those writers have depicted nature and society, our inevitably partial perspectives would blend to provide our contemporaries with portraits of the artists that are true—at least for our time."

As an editorial theorist and scholar of Shelley and other Romantic writers, Reiman had the opportunity to put his beliefs into practice as co-editor (with Neil Fraistat) of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Much of Shelley's "finest poetry, especially of his lyric poetry," was either unpublished or unfinished at the time of his death, noted Michael O'Neill in Times Literary Supplement. "To take account of this fact, Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat, in their meticulous edition of Shelley's earliest poems (the first volume of a projected multi-volume Complete Poetry), propose a distinction between 'released poems' (including poems Shelley intended to publish, such as 'The Mask of Anarchy,') and 'unreleased poetry.' The distinction, which refuses to claim for the latter group the degree of artistic finish attributed to the former, is founded squarely on the poet's known intentions, and is justifiable in textual terms."

Morton D. Paley, writing in Studies in Romanticism, commented, "This Complete Poetry aims to be 'a comprehensive edition that recovers the historical status of all [Shelley's] texts' (xix)." Based on the evidence of Volume 1, Paley wrote, The Complete Poetry "will not only achieve this goal but also will become an indispensable reference work for all who study Shelley."

Although the book "presents a mass of information in addition to the texts of the poems themselves, the editorial format of The Complete Poetry makes it especially easy to use," Paley observed. "For each poem, variants from the only primary textual authorities are collated in footnotes on the page. Other variants, mostly from the principal later editions of Shelley's poetry, are gathered in a section entitled 'Historical Collations,' comprising pages 335-428; and factual information and critical interpretation are placed in another long section of 'Commentaries' on pages 149-329." Using this structure, "Shelley's poems are presented cleanly on the page with variants from primary sources given immediately, and the editors are free to present rich discussions of individual poems and detailed collations with later editions in separate parts of the volume."

O'Neill remarked that the collations provided by Reiman and Fraistat "are remarkable editorial achievements in themselves. Each departure from their chosen copy-text is recorded at the foot of the page." The editors "present their work as 'an authorially governed, historically focused, and text-centered edition that highlights the production, reception, and transmission of Shelley's poetry,'" O'Neill wrote. "For each poem, they aim at 'a critical redaction . . . of a single version that Shelley chose to release to a particular public on a specific occasion.' The enormous merits of their edition derive from the clarity with which they put this rationale into practice. Their editorial commentary gives abundant information about dating, personal and historical contexts, sources, analogues, and versification, and will surely spark off renewed interest in poems often regarded as lacking significant artistic merit," remarked O'Neill. Paley concluded, "This first volume of a comprehensive scholarly edition of all of Shelley's poetry auspiciously inaugurates Shelley studies for a new millennium."

Previously, Reiman's 1993 book, The Study of Modern Manuscripts: Public, Confidential, and Private received praise by critics for its depth and quality, but it was considered "one of those books all in academe should read but precious few will, in part because of the title," wrote Rodger L. Tarr in Nineteenth-Century Literature. "In truth, it is a candidly clever book, replete with objective citation to cover subjective conclusion. Donald H. Reiman moves from bibliographical knowledge to textual implication with ease." Reiman's thesis, addressing the proper way to read literature, is that teachers and scholars should "stop pretending that the study of literature is a social or physical science and recognize it as a humanistic endeavor," Tarr said.

To establish the definitions of what constitutes a manuscript, Tarr wrote, "Reiman divides the history of modern manuscripts into three phases: Renaissance (an era when the preservation of manuscripts was not a high priority), Enlightenment (an era when manuscripts began to be preserved as artifacts of evidence, scientific mainly), and Romantic (an era when manuscripts were prized as objects of introspective and commercial value). We are apparently still in the Romantic phase."

To Tarr, "What is especially valuable about The Study of Modern Manuscripts are the three categories of manuscripts Reiman creates: private (documents addressed to specific people, such as personal letters; or documents intended for personal use, such as diaries; or marginalia in books; or rough or intermediate drafts); confidential (documents addressed to a specific group of people, such as letters copied to a group on a communal issue; memos; readers' reports); and public (documents intended for publication for multiple audiences, such as lectures, sermons, histories, poems, novels, and so forth)." In establishing the category in which a manuscript belongs, "Intentionality is crucial," Tarr wrote. "The distinctions Reiman makes between/among manuscripts is founded upon intentionality: 'for all depend upon the social intentions of the writer.'"

Even though Reiman asserts there are circumstances in which a particular manuscript is private no matter the intended audience, private documents can become public upon publication, no matter what the author intended to happen to the manuscript. "And," Tarr asked, "do pirates (scholars) have the right to declare a manuscript public simply by publishing it, often by ignoring the fickle laws of decorum? Reiman, in part at least, views the question as one of decorum." For example, Reiman excuses Richard Ellmann for publishing the love letters of James Joyce because Ellmann acted in the best interests of Joyce, "even though we, the audience, should be 'ashamed of our own prurient eavesdropping.' But what is left unsaid," Tarr remarked, "is that Ellmann also had the best interest of Ellmann in mind! The point where professional decorum and personal ambition meet can be a fine one. Just how the pirate and scholar are differentiated seems also to rest on perceptions of intention."

Reiman does not spare disdain for those he feels deserving of it, Tarr observed. Deconstructionists are "held up to ridicule, as they should be, for their elemental disregard of the importance of manuscripts in the reading of literature," Tarr wrote. Reiman also criticizes those textual scholars who "alter without justification the texts of their superiors," whether their reasons are benign, sinister, or merely self-serving. "Reiman is at his best when he is pouring vinegar upon ignorance, especially ignorance of text," Tarr remarked. "He is particularly scandalized by scholars, generously so named, who assume that a published text, any published text, is all they need to know about a document," finding those who rely on facsimiles rather than original manuscripts to be "sadly ignorant."

The strength of The Study of Modern Manuscripts is that "it provokes contemplation by forever drawing artful analogies," Tarr wrote. "Scholars, particularly textualists, are akin to cosmetic surgeons, says Reiman. We must decide not only 'whether' to restore but 'how' to restore," editing and restoring texts based upon the intent of the author and the content of the manuscript. "If we do not soon recover our antiquarian spirits," Tarr concluded, "we will be permanently glitched in the world of e-mail and CD-ROMdom where manuscripts are forgotten phantoms of delight."



Criticism, winter, 1990, Michael Scrivener, review of Romantic Texts and Contexts, review of Intervals of Inspiration: The Skeptical Tradition and the Psychology of Romanticism, p. 138.

Keats-Shelley Journal, annual, 2000, George Bornstein, review of The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics: A Facsimile Edition, with Scholarly Introductions, Bibliographical Descriptions, and Annotations, Volume 8, pp. 192-195.

Library Journal, April 1, 1980, Sheila Pepper, review of English Romantic Poetry, 1800-1835, p. 844.

Modern Language Quarterly, December, 1988, Frederick Burwick, review of Intervals of Inspiration, p. 399.

Modern Language Review, January, 1995, Lynette Hunter, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts: Public, Confidential, and Private, p. 169.

New York Review of Books, September 24, 1992, Richard Holmes, review of Shelley's Poetry and Prose, p. 19.

Nineteenth-Century Literature, September, 1989, John Clubbe, review of Intervals of Inspiration, p. 233; December, 1994, Rodger L. Tarr, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts, p. 397; June, 1990, review of Percy Bysshe Shelley, p. 123; December, 1994, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts, p. 397.

Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, March, 1995, Michael Millgate, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts, p. 105; June, 2001, Steven E. Jones, review of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume 1, pp. 260-262.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 1994, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts, p. 49.

Review of English Studies, February, 1990, review of Romantic Texts and Contexts, p. 126; February, 1992, P. M. S. Dawson, review of Percy Bysshe Shelley, p. 127.

RQ, summer, 1980, James Rettig, review of English Romantic Poetry, 1800-1835, pp. 390-391.

Studies in Romanticism, winter, 1991, Susan J. Wolfson, review of Intervals of Inspiration, p. 703; fall, 1995, Peter L. Shillingsburg, review of The Study of Modern Manuscripts, p. 481; winter, 1991, Susan J. Wolfson, review of Romantic Texts and Contexts, p. 703; summer, 2001, Morton D. Paley, review of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, p. 300.

Times Literary Supplement, December 9, 1988, Angela Leighton, review of Romantic Texts and Contexts, p. 1378; August 3, 2001, Michael O'Neill, "Tracking a Flight of Fire," review of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume 1, p. 22.

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