Chapter 2, Rock and Romanticism, Lexington Books

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Chapter two of Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 is “Romanticism in the Park: Mick Jagger Reading Shelley,” pp. 19-34, by Janneke van der Leest, Ph.D. candidate, Radboud University, Netherlands.

“Romanticism in the Park: Mick Jagger Reading Shelley” by Jaaneke van der Leest studies the implications of Mick Jagger reading portions of Percy Shelley’s Adonais at the 1969 Hyde Park concert held just days after the death of the Rolling Stones’s founder Brian Jones. Van der Leest explains Jagger’s view of his relationship with Jones as a case parallel to Shelley mourning his newly found potential friend, potential rival, and potential peer John Keats in the poem Adonais. Contextualizing this event within England’s 1960s’ rock culture and the internal politics of the Rolling Stones that led up to Brian Jones’s ouster, this chapter explores the tensions and contradictions inherent in the existence of professional rivalry and professional jealousy among people engaged in art forms revolutionary in nature and intent.

Check out a YouTube video of the Hyde Park event:

This chapter primarily discusses the history of the Stones before and after the spoken word event at Hyde Park in 1969, so it is not engaged with the music at the concert, but I have created an iTunes Hyde Park playlist (to the best of my ability) to accompany this chapter.

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