The recent turn to political and historical readings of Romanticism has given us a more complex picture of the institutional, cultural and sexual politics of the period. There has been a tendency, however, to confine such study to the European scene. In this book, Nigel Leask sets out to study the work of Byron, Shelley and De Quincey (together with a number of other major and minor Romantic writers, including Robert Southey and Tom Moore) in relation to Britain's imperial designs on the 'Orient'. Combining historical and theoretical approaches with detailed analyses of specific works, it examines the anxieties and instabilities of Romantic representations of the Ottoman Empire, India, China and the Far East. It argues that these anxieties were not marginal but central to the major concerns of British Romantic writers. The book is illustrated with a number of engravings from the period, giving a visual dimension to the discussion of Romantic representations of the East.