With Augustine's Confessions as our starting point, we will consider confessions in a variety of contexts: religious, rhetorical, formal/aesthetic (lyric and narrative), psychoanalytical, racial, and judicial. The spotlight will be on Romantic-era writers who take the confession beyond its institutional functions, trusting it to convey both the quality of consciousness and narratives of selfhood. At the same time, these writers severely test the authenticity and adequacy of confession. We will then turn to the legacy of Romantic ambivalence toward confession in Freud, Foucault, J.W. Johnson, Nabokov, P. Roth, and Sebald.