“Ghosts of 1816” looks beyond the extraordinary literary output of the Year Without a Summer to its profound relevance as a case history of extreme climate deterioration. Today, the “ghosts” of 1816 are with us in the form of droughts, floods, and climate refugees streaming across the borders of Europe and elsewhere. With the worldwide disasters of 1816–1818 as a model, the concept-metaphor of teleconnection—germane to the atmospheric sciences—is a tool for Romantic scholars to rethink global literary history in the age of climate change. Citing the example of the catastrophic Pakistani floods and Russian wildfires of 2010 as teleconnected events “caused” by climate change, the chapter suggests climate itself—characterized by remote causal pathways, chaotic events, and non-linear change—as a new model for reading Romantic texts proleptically alongside the present climate crisis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomantic Climates
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature and Science in an Age of Catastrophe
EditorsAnne Collett, Olivia Murphy
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783030162412
ISBN (Print)9783030162405, 9783030162436
StatePublished - 2019


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