Although I've never edited an anthology of poetry, I think they should serve two purposes: to include everything that the reader expects, and to encourage the reader to read more deeply. To a large extent, this anthology does just that. All the essential romantic poems are here and many lesser known poets are given a lot of space.
The anthology is divided into sections, some of which are grouped by theme (love narratives, politics) and others by genre (sonnet, ode, etc.) and each section is given an introduction. The numbering of the poems starts over with each section, making it a little clumsy and better suited for personal, not classroom, use. Nevertheless, the section themes are well chosen, some being expected ("Man and Nature") and some a little novel ("Comedy and Satire.")
The most impressive thing about this anthology is its women poets. Women are very well represented (though still not as well as the Big Six) and their poems in this anthology make me want to go out and read more of their works, especially those of Charlotte Smith and Felicia Hemans.
I do feel that a little more room could have been taken away from the members of the Big Six (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats) to make way for the poets whose reputations are beginning to rise at this time. Wordsworth, in particular, is a little over-represented with over seventy selections. Every one of his selections is good, but not all are essential.
My only real gripe with this anthology (in all honesty, I'd give it four-and-a-half stars instead of four) is its representation of John Clare, who has about a dozen selections. Although I'd like to see more selections, my real problem is with which poems were chosen to represent him. Clare is now considered by many poets and scholars to be England's greatest nature poet, which is why I was surprised to see only one Clare poem in the "Man and Nature" section of this anthology. Clare took issue with the way his fellow poets represented nature, especially in poems like Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," in which real natural scenery is nearly abstracted out of existence. He insisted on accurate descriptions of nature and by the time he hit his stride in the 1830s, even his "plain" descriptive poetry is incredibly powerful and able to evoke emotion in the reader just like any Wordsworth or Keats poem. The one Clare nature poem here is, in fact, that most Wordsworthian Clare poem I've ever read, showing that the editors are still judging Clare by the High Romanticism which he consciously differed from.
All in all, this is a solid anthology. Definitely a companion for the poetry lover to lug around on trips or walks. I'm excited about its representation of women poets, but don't judge Clare based on the selections in this anthology. He is much better, and much more original, than he appears here.