In this essay I argue that Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head (1807) dramatizes a crucial impasse in Romantic historiography insofar as the poem rocks between two models of historical narrative: the large, supervisory project often characterized as the grand march of history, exempli�ed by Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-88), and a narrative of locality, speci�city, and individuals that includes the several kinds of human and natural history that Smith practices in her poem. This second model is roughly akin to the Annales project of modern French historiography. Smith's poem in this sense registers the formal and conceptual unease that Romantic historiography is unable to put aside, an unease that G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy of history and aesthetics challenges but does not put to rest. Considered in these terms, Beachy Head speci�es the incommensurability of historical kinds to which Romanticism so often and so productively returns.
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