It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution ,  the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment , and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension , horror and terror , and awe —especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature.
It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, but also spontaneity as a desirable characteristic as in the musical impromptu. In contrast to the Rationalism and Classicism of the Enlightenment , Romanticism revived medievalism  and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl , and industrialism.
Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were also proximate factors. Romanticism assigned a high value to the achievements of "heroic" individualists and artists, whose examples, it maintained, would raise the quality of society.
It also promoted the individual imagination as a critical authority allowed of freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist , in the representation of its ideas. In the second half of the 19th century, Realism was offered as a polar opposite to Romanticism. The nature of Romanticism may be approached from the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist.
The importance the Romantics placed on emotion is summed up in the remark of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich , "the artist's feeling is his law".
To express these feelings, it was considered the content of art had to come from the imagination of the artist, with as little interference as possible from "artificial" rules dictating what a work should consist of.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge and others believed there were natural laws the imagination—at least of a good creative artist—would unconsciously follow through artistic inspiration if left alone. The concept of the genius , or artist who was able to produce his own original work through this process of creation from nothingness , is key to Romanticism, and to be derivative was the worst sin.
Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature. This particularly in the effect of nature upon the artist when he is surrounded by it, preferably alone.
In contrast to the usually very social art of the Enlightenment , Romantics were distrustful of the human world, and tended to believe a close connection with nature was mentally and morally healthy. Romantic art addressed its audiences with what was intended to be felt as the personal voice of the artist. So, in literature, "much of romantic poetry invited the reader to identify the protagonists with the poets themselves".
According to Isaiah Berlin , Romanticism embodied "a new and restless spirit, seeking violently to burst through old and cramping forms, a nervous preoccupation with perpetually changing inner states of consciousness, a longing for the unbounded and the indefinable, for perpetual movement and change, an effort to return to the forgotten sources of life, a passionate effort at self-assertion both individual and collective, a search after means of expressing an unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals.
The group of words with the root "Roman" in the various European languages, such as "romance" and "Romanesque", has a complicated history, but by the middle of the 18th century "romantic" in English and romantique in French were both in common use as adjectives of praise for natural phenomena such as views and sunsets, in a sense close to modern English usage but without the amorous connotation. The application of the term to literature first became common in Germany, where the circle around the Schlegel brothers, critics August and Friedrich , began to speak of romantische Poesie "romantic poetry" in the s, contrasting it with "classic" but in terms of spirit rather than merely dating.
Friedrich Schlegel wrote in his Dialogue on Poetry , "I seek and find the romantic among the older moderns, in Shakespeare, in Cervantes, in Italian poetry, in that age of chivalry, love and fable, from which the phenomenon and the word itself are derived. In both French and German the closeness of the adjective to roman , meaning the fairly new literary form of the novel , had some effect on the sense of the word in those languages.
The period typically called Romantic varies greatly between different countries and different artistic media or areas of thought. Margaret Drabble described it in literature as taking place "roughly between and ",  and few dates much earlier than will be found.
In English literature, M. Abrams placed it between , or , this latter a very typical view, and about , perhaps a little later than some other critics. The early period of the Romantic Era was a time of war, with the French Revolution — followed by the Napoleonic Wars until These wars, along with the political and social turmoil that went along with them, served as the background for Romanticism.
The first emerged in the s and s, the second in the s, and the third later in the century. The more precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism has been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging.
That it was part of the Counter-Enlightenment , a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment , is generally accepted in current scholarship. Its relationship to the French Revolution , which began in in the very early stages of the period, is clearly important, but highly variable depending on geography and individual reactions. Most Romantics can be said to be broadly progressive in their views, but a considerable number always had, or developed, a wide range of conservative views,  and nationalism was in many countries strongly associated with Romanticism, as discussed in detail below.
In philosophy and the history of ideas, Romanticism was seen by Isaiah Berlin as disrupting for over a century the classic Western traditions of rationality and the idea of moral absolutes and agreed values, leading "to something like the melting away of the very notion of objective truth",  and hence not only to nationalism, but also fascism and totalitarianism , with a gradual recovery coming only after World War II.
This is most evident in the aesthetics of romanticism, where the notion of eternal models, a Platonic vision of ideal beauty, which the artist seeks to convey, however imperfectly, on canvas or in sound, is replaced by a passionate belief in spiritual freedom, individual creativity.
The painter, the poet, the composer do not hold up a mirror to nature, however ideal, but invent; they do not imitate the doctrine of mimesis , but create not merely the means but the goals that they pursue; these goals represent the self-expression of the artist's own unique, inner vision, to set aside which in response to the demands of some "external" voice — church, state, public opinion, family friends, arbiters of taste — is an act of betrayal of what alone justifies their existence for those who are in any sense creative.
Arthur Lovejoy attempted to demonstrate the difficulty of defining Romanticism in his seminal article "On The Discrimination of Romanticisms" in his Essays in the History of Ideas ; some scholars see Romanticism as essentially continuous with the present, some like Robert Hughes see in it the inaugural moment of modernity ,  and some like Chateaubriand , Novalis and Samuel Taylor Coleridge see it as the beginning of a tradition of resistance to Enlightenment rationalism—a "Counter-Enlightenment"—   to be associated most closely with German Romanticism.
An earlier definition comes from Charles Baudelaire: The end of the Romantic era is marked in some areas by a new style of Realism , which affected literature, especially the novel and drama, painting, and even music, through Verismo opera.
This movement was led by France, with Balzac and Flaubert in literature and Courbet in painting; Stendhal and Goya were important precursors of Realism in their respective media. However, Romantic styles, now often representing the established and safe style against which Realists rebelled, continued to flourish in many fields for the rest of the century and beyond. In music such works from after about are referred to by some writers as "Late Romantic" and by others as "Neoromantic" or "Postromantic", but other fields do not usually use these terms; in English literature and painting the convenient term "Victorian" avoids having to characterise the period further.
In northern Europe, the Early Romantic visionary optimism and belief that the world was in the process of great change and improvement had largely vanished, and some art became more conventionally political and polemical as its creators engaged polemically with the world as it was. Elsewhere, including in very different ways the United States and Russia, feelings that great change was underway or just about to come were still possible. Displays of intense emotion in art remained prominent, as did the exotic and historical settings pioneered by the Romantics, but experimentation with form and technique was generally reduced, often replaced with meticulous technique, as in the poems of Tennyson or many paintings.
If not realist, late 19th-century art was often extremely detailed, and pride was taken in adding authentic details in a way that earlier Romantics did not trouble with. Many Romantic ideas about the nature and purpose of art, above all the pre-eminent importance of originality, remained important for later generations, and often underlie modern views, despite opposition from theorists.
In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of " sensibility " with its emphasis on women and children, the isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for nature.
Romanticism tended to regard satire as something unworthy of serious attention, a prejudice still influential today. Some authors cite 16th century poet Isabella di Morra as an early precursor of Romantic literature. Her lyrics covering themes of isolation and loneliness which reflected the tragic events of her life are considered "an impressive prefigurement of Romanticism",  differing from the Petrarchist fashion of the time based on the philosophy of love.
The precursors of Romanticism in English poetry go back to the middle of the 18th century, including figures such as Joseph Warton headmaster at Winchester College and his brother Thomas Warton , Professor of Poetry at Oxford University.
Thomas Chatterton is generally considered the first Romantic poet in English. Both Chatterton and Macpherson's work involved elements of fraud, as what they claimed was earlier literature that they had discovered or compiled was, in fact, entirely their own work.
The Gothic novel , beginning with Horace Walpole 's The Castle of Otranto , was an important precursor of one strain of Romanticism, with a delight in horror and threat, and exotic picturesque settings, matched in Walpole's case by his role in the early revival of Gothic architecture. Tristram Shandy , a novel by Laurence Sterne —67 introduced a whimsical version of the anti-rational sentimental novel to the English literary public.
An early German influence came from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , whose novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. At that time Germany was a multitude of small separate states, and Goethe's works would have a seminal influence in developing a unifying sense of nationalism.
Heidelberg later became a center of German Romanticism, where writers and poets such as Clemens Brentano , Achim von Arnim , and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff met regularly in literary circles.
Important motifs in German Romanticism are travelling, nature, for example the German Forest , and Germanic myths. The later German Romanticism of, for example E. The significance to Romanticism of childhood innocence, the importance of imagination, and racial theories all combined to give an unprecedented importance to folk literature , non-classical mythology and children's literature , above all in Germany. Brentano and von Arnim were significant literary figures who together published Des Knaben Wunderhorn "The Boy's Magic Horn" or cornucopia , a collection of versified folk tales, in — One of the brothers, Jacob , published in Deutsche Mythologie , a long academic work on Germanic mythology.
The publication in of Lyrical Ballads , with many of the finest poems by Wordsworth and Coleridge, is often held to mark the start of the movement. The majority of the poems were by Wordsworth, and many dealt with the lives of the poor in his native Lake District , or his feelings about nature—which he more fully developed in his long poem The Prelude , never published in his lifetime.
The longest poem in the volume was Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner , which showed the Gothic side of English Romanticism, and the exotic settings that many works featured. In the period when they were writing, the Lake Poets were widely regarded as a marginal group of radicals, though they were supported by the critic and writer William Hazlitt and others.
In contrast Lord Byron and Walter Scott achieved enormous fame and influence throughout Europe with works exploiting the violence and drama of their exotic and historical settings; Goethe called Byron "undoubtedly the greatest genius of our century". Both were set in the distant Scottish past, already evoked in Ossian ; Romanticism and Scotland were to have a long and fruitful partnership.
Byron had equal success with the first part of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage in , followed by four "Turkish tales", all in the form of long poems, starting with The Giaour in , drawing from his Grand Tour , which had reached Ottoman Europe, and orientalizing the themes of the Gothic novel in verse. These featured different variations of the " Byronic hero ", and his own life contributed a further version.
Scott meanwhile was effectively inventing the historical novel , beginning in with Waverley , set in the Jacobite rising , which was an enormous and highly profitable success, followed by over 20 further Waverley Novels over the next 17 years, with settings going back to the Crusades that he had researched to a degree that was new in literature.
In contrast to Germany, Romanticism in English literature had little connection with nationalism, and the Romantics were often regarded with suspicion for the sympathy many felt for the ideals of the French Revolution , whose collapse and replacement with the dictatorship of Napoleon was, as elsewhere in Europe, a shock to the movement.
Though his novels celebrated Scottish identity and history, Scott was politically a firm Unionist. Several spent much time abroad, and a famous stay on Lake Geneva with Byron and Shelley in produced the hugely influential novel Frankenstein by Shelley's wife-to-be Mary Shelley and the novella The Vampyre by Byron's doctor John William Polidori.
The lyrics of Robert Burns in Scotland and Thomas Moore , from Ireland reflected in different ways their countries and the Romantic interest in folk literature, but neither had a fully Romantic approach to life or their work. Byron is now most highly regarded for his short lyrics and his generally unromantic prose writings, especially his letters, and his unfinished satire Don Juan.
Wordsworth was by respectable and highly regarded, holding a government sinecure , but wrote relatively little. In the discussion of English literature, the Romantic period is often regarded as finishing around the s, or sometimes even earlier, although many authors of the succeeding decades were no less committed to Romantic values.
The most significant novelist in English during the peak Romantic period, other than Walter Scott, was Jane Austen , whose essentially conservative world-view had little in common with her Romantic contemporaries, retaining a strong belief in decorum and social rules, though critics [ who?
Most notably Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights ,both published in , which also introduced more gothic themes. While these two novels were written and published after the Romantic period is said to have ended, their novels were heavily influenced by Romantic literature they'd read as children. Byron, Keats and Shelley all wrote for the stage, but with little success in England, with Shelley's The Cenci perhaps the best work produced, though that was not played in a public theatre in England until a century after his death.
Byron's plays, along with dramatizations of his poems and Scott's novels, were much more popular on the Continent, and especially in France, and through these versions several were turned into operas, many still performed today.
If contemporary poets had little success on the stage, the period was a legendary one for performances of Shakespeare , and went some way to restoring his original texts and removing the Augustan "improvements" to them. The greatest actor of the period, Edmund Kean , restored the tragic ending to King Lear ;  Coleridge said that, "Seeing him act was like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.
Although after union with England in Scotland increasingly adopted English language and wider cultural norms, its literature developed a distinct national identity and began to enjoy an international reputation. Allan Ramsay — laid the foundations of a reawakening of interest in older Scottish literature, as well as leading the trend for pastoral poetry, helping to develop the Habbie stanza as a poetic form.
Claiming to have found poetry written by the ancient bard Ossian , he published translations that acquired international popularity, being proclaimed as a Celtic equivalent of the Classical epics. Fingal , written in , was speedily translated into many European languages, and its appreciation of natural beauty and treatment of the ancient legend has been credited more than any single work with bringing about the Romantic movement in European, and especially in German literature, through its influence on Johann Gottfried von Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Robert Burns —96 and Walter Scott — were highly influenced by the Ossian cycle. Burns, an Ayrshire poet and lyricist, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and a major influence on the Romantic movement. His poem and song " Auld Lang Syne " is often sung at Hogmanay the last day of the year , and " Scots Wha Hae " served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country.
His first prose work, Waverley in , is often called the first historical novel. Scott probably did more than any other figure to define and popularise Scottish cultural identity in the nineteenth century. Scotland was also the location of two of the most important literary magazines of the era, The Edinburgh Review founded in and Blackwood's Magazine founded in , which had a major impact on the development of British literature and drama in the era of Romanticism.
Scottish "national drama" emerged in the early s, as plays with specifically Scottish themes began to dominate the Scottish stage. Theatres had been discouraged by the Church of Scotland and fears of Jacobite assemblies. In the later eighteenth century, many plays were written for and performed by small amateur companies and were not published and so most have been lost. Towards the end of the century there were " closet dramas ", primarily designed to be read, rather than performed, including work by Scott, Hogg, Galt and Joanna Baillie — , often influenced by the ballad tradition and Gothic Romanticism.
Romanticism was relatively late in developing in French literature , more so than in the visual arts. The 18th-century precursor to Romanticism, the cult of sensibility, had become associated with the Ancien regime , and the French Revolution had been more of an inspiration to foreign writers than those experiencing it at first-hand.
After the Bourbon Restoration , French Romanticism developed in the lively world of Parisian theatre , with productions of Shakespeare , Schiller in France a key Romantic author , and adaptations of Scott and Byron alongside French authors, several of whom began to write in the late s. Cliques of pro- and anti-Romantics developed, and productions were often accompanied by raucous vocalizing by the two sides, including the shouted assertion by one theatregoer in that "Shakespeare, c'est l'aide-de-camp de Wellington" "Shakespeare is Wellington's aide-de-camp ".
Victor Hugo published as a poet in the s before achieving success on the stage with Hernani —a historical drama in a quasi-Shakespearian style that had famously riotous performances on its first run in The preface to his unperformed play "Cromwell" gives an important manifesto of French Romanticism, stating that "there are no rules, or models".
Alfred de Vigny remains best known as a dramatist, with his play on the life of the English poet Chatterton perhaps his best work. George Sand was a central figure of the Parisian literary scene, famous both for her novels and criticism and her affairs with Chopin and several others;  she too was inspired by the theatre, and wrote works to be staged at her private estate. Stendhal is today probably the most highly regarded French novelist of the period, but he stands in a complex relation with Romanticism, and is notable for his penetrating psychological insight into his characters and his realism, qualities rarely prominent in Romantic fiction.
As a survivor of the French retreat from Moscow in , fantasies of heroism and adventure had little appeal for him, and like Goya he is often seen as a forerunner of Realism. Romanticism in Poland is often taken to begin with the publication of Adam Mickiewicz 's first poems in , and end with the crushing of the January Uprising of against the Russians. It was strongly marked by interest in Polish history.
This close connection between Polish Romanticism and Polish history became one of the defining qualities of the literature of Polish Romanticism period, differentiating it from that of other countries.
They had not suffered the loss of national statehood as was the case with Poland. The Polish intelligentsia, along with leading members of its government, left Poland in the early s, during what is referred to as the " Great Emigration ", resettling in France, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey, and the United States. Their art featured emotionalism and irrationality , fantasy and imagination, personality cults, folklore and country life, and the propagation of ideals of freedom.
In the second period, many of the Polish Romantics worked abroad, often banished from Poland by the occupying powers due to their politically subversive ideas.
Their work became increasingly dominated by the ideals of political struggle for freedom and their country's sovereignty. Elements of mysticism became more prominent. There developed the idea of the poeta wieszcz the prophet. The wieszcz bard functioned as spiritual leader to the nation fighting for its independence. The most notable poet so recognized was Adam Mickiewicz.
Zygmunt Krasinski also wrote to inspire political and religious hope in his countrymen. Unlike his predecessors, who called for victory at whatever price in Poland's struggle against Russia, Krasinski emphasized Poland's spiritual role in its fight for independence, advocating an intellectual rather than a military superiority. His works best exemplify the Messianic movement in Poland: Pushkin's work influenced many writers in the 19th century and led to his eventual recognition as Russia's greatest poet.
Influenced heavily by Lord Byron, Lermontov sought to explore the Romantic emphasis on metaphysical discontent with society and self, while Tyutchev's poems often described scenes of nature or passions of love. Tyutchev commonly operated with such categories as night and day, north and south, dream and reality, cosmos and chaos, and the still world of winter and spring teeming with life. Baratynsky's style was fairly classical in nature, dwelling on the models of the previous century.
Romanticism in Spanish literature developed a well-known literature with a huge variety of poets and playwrights. Spanish Romanticism also influenced regional literatures. There are scholars who consider Spanish Romanticism to be Proto-Existentialism because it is more anguished than the movement in other European countries.
According to Richard Caldwell, the writers that we now identify with Spain's romanticism were actually precursors to those who galvanized the literary movement that emerged in the s. Alexandre, bishop of Angra , in the precepts of Neoclassicism , which can be observed in his early work. Almeida Garrett had participated in the Liberal Revolution , which caused him to exile himself in England in and then in France, after the Vila-Francada.
He was also deeply interested in Portuguese folkloric verse, which resulted in the publication of Romanceiro "Traditional Portuguese Ballads" , that recollect a great number of ancient popular ballads, known as "romances" or "rimances", in redondilha maior verse form, that contained stories of chivalry , life of saints , crusades , courtly love , etc.
He too was forced to exile to Great Britain and France because of his liberal ideals. All of his poetry and prose are unlike Almeida Garrett's entirely Romantic, rejecting Greco-Roman myth and history.
He became an unquestionable master for successive Ultra-Romantic generations, whose influence would not be challenged until the famous Coimbra Question. He also created polemics by translating Goethe 's Faust without knowing German, but using French versions of the play. An early Portuguese expression of Romanticism is found already in poets such as Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage especially in his sonnets dated at the end of the 18th century and Leonor de Almeida Portugal, Marquise of Alorna.
Before that date, Ugo Foscolo had already published poems anticipating Romantic themes. Better known authors such as Alessandro Manzoni and Giacomo Leopardi were influenced by Enlightenment as well as by Romanticism and Classicism. His writings were influenced by his hatred for the Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas , and filled with themes of blood and terror, using the metaphor of a slaughterhouse to portray the violence of Rosas' dictatorship. Brazilian Romanticism is characterized and divided in three different periods.
The first one is basically focused on the creation of a sense of national identity, using the ideal of the heroic Indian. The second period, sometimes called Ultra-Romanticism , is marked by a profound influence of European themes and traditions, involving the melancholy, sadness and despair related to unobtainable love. Goethe and Lord Byron are commonly quoted in these works. American Romantic Gothic literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving 's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle , followed from onwards by the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper , with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by " noble savages ", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau , exemplified by Uncas , from The Last of the Mohicans.
There are picturesque "local color" elements in Washington Irving's essays and especially his travel books. Edgar Allan Poe 's tales of the macabre and his balladic poetry were more influential in France than at home, but the romantic American novel developed fully with the atmosphere and melodrama of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter Later Transcendentalist writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson still show elements of its influence and imagination, as does the romantic realism of Walt Whitman.
The poetry of Emily Dickinson —nearly unread in her own time—and Herman Melville 's novel Moby-Dick can be taken as epitomes of American Romantic literature. By the s, however, psychological and social realism were competing with Romanticism in the novel. The European Romantic movement reached America in the early 19th century.
American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe. Like the Europeans, the American Romantics demonstrated a high level of moral enthusiasm, commitment to individualism and the unfolding of the self, an emphasis on intuitive perception, and the assumption that the natural world was inherently good, while human society was filled with corruption. Romanticism became popular in American politics, philosophy and art.
The movement appealed to the revolutionary spirit of America as well as to those longing to break free of the strict religious traditions of early settlement.
The Romantics rejected rationalism and religious intellect. It appealed to those in opposition of Calvinism, which includes the belief that the destiny of each individual is preordained. The Romantic movement gave rise to New England Transcendentalism , which portrayed a less restrictive relationship between God and Universe. The new philosophy presented the individual with a more personal relationship with God. Transcendentalism and Romanticism appealed to Americans in a similar fashion, for both privileged feeling over reason, individual freedom of expression over the restraints of tradition and custom.
It often involved a rapturous response to nature. It encouraged the rejection of harsh, rigid Calvinism, and promised a new blossoming of American culture. American Romanticism embraced the individual and rebelled against the confinement of neoclassicism and religious tradition. The Romantic movement in America created a new literary genre that continues to influence American writers.
Novels, short stories, and poems replaced the sermons and manifestos of yore. Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion than ever seen in neoclassical literature.
America's preoccupation with freedom became a great source of motivation for Romantic writers as many were delighted in free expression and emotion without so much fear of ridicule and controversy. They also put more effort into the psychological development of their characters, and the main characters typically displayed extremes of sensitivity and excitement. The works of the Romantic Era also differed from preceding works in that they spoke to a wider audience, partly reflecting the greater distribution of books as costs came down during the period.
In the visual arts, Romanticism first showed itself in landscape painting , where from as early as the s British artists began to turn to wilder landscapes and storms, and Gothic architecture , even if they had to make do with Wales as a setting.
Caspar David Friedrich and J. His early development of a protective shield of mocking humour with which to face a world in which science had become trifling and art inconsequential is visible in the satirical An Island in the Moon written c. His desire for renewal encouraged him to view the outbreak of the French Revolution as a momentous event. In works such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell —93 and Songs of Experience , he attacked the hypocrisies of the age and the impersonal cruelties resulting from the dominance of analytic reason in contemporary thought.
Blake developed these ideas in the visionary narratives of Milton —08 and Jerusalem — Here, still using his own mythological characters, he portrayed the imaginative artist as the hero of society and suggested the possibility of redemption from the fallen or Urizenic condition. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge , meanwhile, were also exploring the implications of the French Revolution. Wordsworth, who lived in France in —92 and fathered an illegitimate child there, was distressed when, soon after his return, Britain declared war on the republic, dividing his allegiance.
For the rest of his career, he was to brood on those events, trying to develop a view of humanity that would be faithful to his twin sense of the pathos of individual human fates and the unrealized potentialities in humanity as a whole. His investigation of the relationship between nature and the human mind continued in the long autobiographical poem addressed to Coleridge and later titled The Prelude —99 in two books; in five books; in 13 books; revised continuously and published posthumously, The Prelude constitutes the most significant English expression of the Romantic discovery of the self as a topic for art and literature.
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. Simultaneously, his poetic output became sporadic. The work of both poets was directed back to national affairs during these years by the rise of Napoleon. In Wordsworth dedicated a number of sonnets to the patriotic cause. The death in of his brother John, who was a captain in the merchant navy , was a grim reminder that, while he had been living in retirement as a poet, others had been willing to sacrifice themselves.
From this time the theme of duty was to be prominent in his poetry. Both Wordsworth and Coleridge benefited from the advent in of the Regency, which brought a renewed interest in the arts. A Vision; The Pains of Sleep was published in Biographia Literaria , an account of his own development, combined philosophy and literary criticism in a new way and made an enduring and important contribution to literary theory.
His later religious writings made a considerable impact on Victorian readers. Sir Walter Scott , by contrast, was thought of as a major poet for his vigorous and evocative verse narratives The Lay of the Last Minstrel and Marmion Other verse writers were also highly esteemed.
Another admired poet of the day was Thomas Moore , whose Irish Melodies began to appear in His highly coloured narrative Lalla Rookh: An Oriental Romance and his satirical poetry were also immensely popular. Charlotte Smith was not the only significant woman poet in this period. George Crabbe wrote poetry of another kind: He differs from the earlier Augustans, however, in his subject matter, concentrating on realistic, unsentimental accounts of the life of the poor and the middle classes.
He shows considerable narrative gifts in his collections of verse tales in which he anticipates many short-story techniques and great powers of description. His antipastoral The Village appeared in After a long silence, he returned to poetry with The Parish Register , The Borough , Tales in Verse , and Tales of the Hall , which gained him great popularity in the early 19th century.
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Poetry Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge Useful as it is to trace the common elements in Romantic poetry, there was little conformity among the poets themselves. Previous page The novel. Page 12 of Next page The later Romantics: Shelley, Keats, and Byron. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: In its literature, England arguably has attained its most influential cultural expression. For more than a millennium, each stage in the development of the English language has produced its masterworks.
Hyde and H. One exception is 14th-century England, where a national literature made a brilliant showing in the works of William Langland, John Gower, and, above all, Geoffrey Chaucer.
As a term to cover the most distinctive writers who flourished in the last years of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th, “Romantic” is indispensable but also a little misleading: there was no self-styled “Romantic movement” at the time, and the great writers of the period did not call themselves Romantics.
No other period in English literature displays more variety in style, theme, and content than the Romantic Movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Furthermore, no period has been the topic of so much disagreement and confusion over its defining principles and aesthetics.
Romantic Writing Styles I'm defining romantic writing as something that takes you into another world, often using love and mystery to help make the transition. J.D. Salinger . Oratorical style, prophetic style and romantic style are very different from one another, but you can still distinguish good and bad writing within each tradition. The same goes for the writing styles we’ll be looking at the in the next video, which are, as we’ll see, much more relevant to academic writing.
Romantic style would be revived in the beginning of the 20th century, notably through the works of poets linked to the Portuguese Renaissance (Renascença Portuguesa), such as Teixeira de Pascoais, Jaime Cortesão, Mário Beirão, among others, who can be considered Neo-Romantics. Romantic spirit or style (developed in but not limited to the Romantic era) In everyday modern English, "Romantic" commonly refers to feelings of love, desire, or escape and " romance " is used to describe a love story ("a woman's romance").