How to Read a Literary Visualization: Network Effects in the Lake School of Romantic Poetry Academic Article uri icon


  • Robert Southey, a member of the Lake School of poetryreally, the first avant garde in the history of English literaturewas as prolific a letter writer as he was of poetry and prose during the Romantic era in England, roughly 1780-1830: to write to a dear friend, Southey says, is to me like escaping from prison. A massive digital scholarly edition is underway, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. It is divided into eight Parts: I:1791-1797, II:1798-1803, III:1804-09, IV:1810-15, V:1816-21, VI:1822-27, VII:1828-33, VIII:1833-39. Currently Parts I and II have been completely edited and made available to the public. These letters capture a set of intellectual, amicable, and financial relationships established while Southey lived in and traveled away from his home base of Bristol in the West Country, before he actually moved to the Lake District. Because each person and place name in the letters was encoded using TEI P5, we have been able to create a data set that indicates who is mentioned in letters to whom. That data set was fed into a Directed and Undirected Graph to be visualized, which is available to see and manipulate online here (

published proceedings

  • Digital Studies

author list (cited authors)

  • Mandell, L. C., Pratt, L., Jekeli, J., Gannod, G., & Brown, T.

complete list of authors

  • Mandell, LC||Pratt, L||Jekeli, J||Gannod, G||Brown, T

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM