how to see website history on ipad
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

how to see website history on ipad



  • Home
  • Interesting Facts
  • Accomplishments
  • Mnemonics
  • Ten On Ten
  • THE CIRCUS

  • Articles
    • Accomplishments
    • Top Ten Lists
    • Interesting Facts
    • Humourous
    • Quick Facts
  • About Us
    • Learnodo
    • Arun
    • Anirudh
    • Swati
  • Books
    • 15 Degrees Off Your Heart | Short Stories With Twist Endings
    • Happiness Decoded | Crucify Negativity to stay in a Good Mood
  • Home



Learnodo Newtonic

  • Home
  • Interesting Facts
  • Accomplishments
  • Mnemonics
  • Ten On Ten
  • THE CIRCUS

Home Articles Top Ten Lists 10 Most Famous Poets of the Romanticism Movement
Famous Romanticism Poets Featured
  • Articles
  • Top Ten Lists

10 Most Famous Poets of the Romanticism Movement

By

Anirudh

1262
0

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Pinterest
WhatsApp

     

    Romanticism was a movement that dominated all genres; including literature, music, art and architecture; in Europe and the United States in the first half of the 19th century. It originated in late 18th century as a reaction against the ideals of order, calm, harmony, idealization and rationality which marked Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. It was influenced by the German movement Sturm und Drang (“storm and drive”), which focussed on intuition and emotion as opposed to rationalism. Romanticism laid emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of the past and of nature. The movement was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the scientific rationalization of nature. The best known English Romantic poets include Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron and Shelley. In America, the most famous Romantic poet was Edgar Allan Poe; while in France, Victor Marie Hugo was the leading figure of the movement. Here are the 10 most famous Romantic poets and their best known works.

     

    #10 Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Lifespan: October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834

    Nationality: English

    Along with William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge is credited with founding the Romanticism movement in England. In 1797, the two friends broke the decorum of neoclassical verse with daring original poetic works which laid emphasis on emotion and glorification of nature. The following year their collection of poetry Lyrical Ballads was published. Though the immediate reaction to Lyrical Ballads was modest, it is now considered a landmark work which changed the course of English literature and poetry by launching the influential Romantic movement. Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry who deeply influenced the major poets of his era including Wordsworth. Among other things, he is credited with utilizing everyday language to express profound poetic images and ideas.

    Famous Poems:-

    Kubla Khan (1816)

    Christabel (1816)

    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)

     

    #9 Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Lifespan: August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822

    Nationality: English

    Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the leading “second generation” Romantic poets and he created some of the best known works of the movement. He was a controversial writer whose poems are marked by uncompromising idealism and great personal conviction. Though he produced works throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish them for fear of being arrested for either blasphemy or sedition. As a result Shelley couldn’t gather a mainstream following during his lifetime. However, his popularity grew steadily following his death and ultimately he achieved worldwide fame and acclaim. Apart from being an idol for later generation of poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley also exerted influence on such prominent figures as the German philosopher Karl Marx and the Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi. He is considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.

    Famous Works:-

    Ozymandias (1818)

    Ode to the West Wind (1820)

    Prometheus Unbound (1820)

     

    #8 Robert Burns

    Robert Burns
    Robert Burns

    Lifespan: January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796

    Nationality: Scottish

    Also known as the Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet, Robert Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. He is considered a pioneer of Romanticism who had a major influence on the movement. The poetic style of Burns is marked by spontaneity and sincerity; and it ranges from love to intensity to humour and satire. His best known works include Scots Wha Hae, which served as an unofficial national anthem of Soctland for many years; A Red, Red Rose, among the best known love poems; and Auld Lang Syne, which is widely sung in the western world at the stroke of midnight on New Year. Robert Burns is the most widely read Scottish poet and he is celebrated not only in his country but around the world. He remains a cultural icon in his nation and in 2009, he was voted as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

    Famous Poems:-

    Auld Lang Syne (1788)

    To a Mouse (1785)

    A Red, Red Rose (1794)

     

    #7 Alexander Pushkin

    Alexander Pushkin
    Alexander Pushkin

    Lifespan: June 8, 1799 – February 11, 1837

    Nationality: Russian

    Alexander Pushkin was a poet, playwright and novelist who is widely regarded as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin published his first poem when he was 15 and by the time he graduated his talent was already widely recognized within the Russian literary scene. The most famous poem of Pushkin is The Bronze Horseman. A work regarding the equestrian statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg and the great flood of 1824, it is considered one of the most influential works in Russian Literature. Pushkin married Natalia Goncharova, one of the most talked-about beauties of Moscow. Rumours of an affair between his wife and French military officer Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès led to a duel between the two in which Pushkin was fatally wounded at the age of just 37. Though his work has been associated with several movements, most consider Alexander Pushkin to be a central representative of Romanticism in Russian literature.

    Famous Poems:-

    The Bronze Horseman (1837)

    I Loved You (1830)

    Ruslan and Ludmila (1820)

     

    #6 John Keats

    John Keats
    John Keats

    Lifespan: October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821

    Nationality: English

    Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats was one of the most prominent figures of the second generation of English Romantic poets. Keats died due to tuberculosis in 1821 at the age of only 25. His work was in publication for only four years and it was not generally well received by critics during his lifetime. However, his reputation grew after his death and by the end of the 19th century, he became one of the most beloved of all English poets. The most famous and acclaimed poems of Keats are a series of six odes known as the Odes of 1819. The most highly regarded among these is To Autumn, which has been called one of the most perfect short poems in the English language. Through his 1819 odes, Keats created a new type of short lyrical poem, which influenced later generations.

    Famous Poems:-

    To Autumn (1820)

    Ode on a Grecian Urn (1820)

    When I have Fears (1848)

     

    #5 Victor Hugo

    Victor Hugo
    Victor Hugo

    Lifespan: February 26, 1802 – May 22, 1885

    Nationality: French

    Victor Hugo is one of the most famous French writers of all time. Though most famous in the literary world for his great novel Les Miserables, his poetry is also very well known, especially in France. The first collection of poetry of Hugo, Odes et poésies diverses, was published in 1822 when he was only 20 years old. It earned him a royal pension from King Louis XVIII. His next poetry collection Odes et Ballades, published four years later, established him as a master of lyric and creative song. When Napoleon III seized complete power in 1851, Hugo openly declared him a traitor. He had to leave France and settle in Guernsey. In exile, Hugo produced his most acclaimed poetry collections Les Châtiments (1853); Les Contemplations (1856); and La Légende des siècles (1859). Victor Hugo was at the forefront of the French Romantic literary movement and he is the best known French Romantic poet.

    Famous Poems:-

    Demain dès l’aube (Tomorrow, at dawn; 1856)

    Le Pape (The Pope; 1878)

    La Pitié suprême (The Supreme Compassion; 1879)

     

    #4 Lord Byron

    Lord Byron
    Lord Byron

    Lifespan: January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824

    Nationality: English

    George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, commonly known as just Lord Byron, was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement in early 19th century England. Byron first achieved fame with the publication of the first two cantos of his narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage in 1812 and his reputation further enhanced with his four highly successful poems referred to as the “Oriental Tales”. Lord Byron is often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics due to his indulgent life and numerous love affairs. Many of his poems are autobiographic in nature and much of his work is pervaded by the Byronic hero, an idealised but flawed character capable of great passion and talent but rebellious, arrogant and self-destructive. Lord Byron is considered the leading second generation Romantic poet and he continues to be influential and widely read.

    Famous Poems:-

    Don Juan (1824)

    She Walks in Beauty (1813)

    Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1818)

     

    #3 William Wordsworth

    William Wordsworth
    William Wordsworth

    Lifespan: April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850

    Nationality: English

    Wordsworth, along with Coleridge, launched the Romantic Age in English literature with the publication of Lyrical Ballads in 1798. From 1799 to 1808, he lived at the Dove Cottage in the village of Grasmere in the Lake District of England. Here he became friends with another prominent poet, Robert Southey. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey were the three main figures of the group known as Lake Poets, as they all lived in the Lake District. The years 1797 to 1808 are now recognized as the best years of Wordsworth and are known as his Great Decade. After struggling initially, Wordsworth became one of the most renowned poets in his later years and was appointed Poet Laureate of Britain in 1843. The Prelude, an autobiographical epic, is widely regarded by critics as his greatest work though his most popular poem is perhaps I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, commonly known as Daffodils. William Wordsworth is considered a pioneer of Romanticism and one of the greatest poets in English literature.

    Famous Poems:-

    Daffodils (1807)

    Tintern Abbey (1798)

    The Prelude (1850)

     

    #2 Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe
    Edgar Allan Poe

    Lifespan: January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

    Nationality: American

    Widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most influential and famous figures of American literature. His poems appear throughout popular culture and lines from them are often quoted. Poe is celebrated as the supreme exponent of Dark Romanticism, a genre which focuses on human fallibility, self-destruction, judgement, punishment and the demonic; as well as the psychological effects of guilt and sin. One of the prominent theme in his poems is the death of a young, beautiful and dearly loved woman; which he called “the most poetical topic in the world”. The best known poem of Poe is The Raven. It influenced numerous later works including the famous painting Nevermore by Paul Gauguin. Apart from being one of the most famous poets, Edgar Allan Poe is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and an important contributor to the emerging genre of science fiction.

    Famous Poems:-

    The Raven (1845)

    Annabel Lee (1849)

    A Dream Within a Dream (1849)

     

    #1 William Blake

    William Blake
    William Blake

    Lifespan: November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827

    Nationality: English

    William Blake remained largely unknown during his lifetime but rose to prominence after his death and is now considered a highly influential figure in the history of poetry and one of the greatest British artists. Blake’s most renowned work in poetry is Songs of Innocence and of Experience, considered one of the leading poetic works of the Romantic era. The collection often contains poems with similar themes, and at times the same title, to contrast the innocent world of childhood in Songs of Innocence with the corruption and repression of the adult world in Songs of Experience. Blake claimed to experience visions throughout his life. He revered the Bible but was hostile to the Church of England and organized religion in general. His poetry and art often created mythical worlds full of gods and powers, and sharply criticized industrial society and the oppression of the individual. Blake is considered a key figure in Romanticism for his emphasis on subjective vision and the power of the imagination. He is also highly regarded for his expressiveness and creativity as well as for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents in his work. In 2002, William Blake was placed 38 in BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

    Famous Poems:-

    The Tyger (1794)

    London (1794)

    And did those feet in ancient time (1808)

    report this ad

    LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply

    report this ad

    Trending Now

    American Civil War Battles Featured

    10 Major Battles of the American Civil War

    Harlem Renaissance Famous People Featured

    10 Most Famous People of The Harlem Renaissance

    Louis Pasteur Contribution Featured

    10 Major Contributions of Louis Pasteur

    James Madison Accomplishments Featured

    10 Major Accomplishments of US President James Madison

    Elizabeth I Accomplishments Featured

    10 Major Accomplishments of Queen Elizabeth I of England

    Van Gogh Famous Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

    Theodore Roosevelt Accomplishments Featured

    10 Major Accomplishments of Theodore Roosevelt

    Famous Renaissance Paintings Featured Image

    10 Most Famous Paintings of The Renaissance

    Famous Macbeth Quotes Featured

    10 Most Famous Quotations From Macbeth With Explanation

    Industrial Revolution Inventions Featured

    10 Major Inventions of the Industrial Revolution

    report this ad

    Latest In Ten On Ten

    French Revolution Leaders Featured

    10 Most Important Leaders of the French Revolution

    Anirudh

    0

    French Revolution Events Featured

    10 Major Events of the French Revolution and their Dates

    Anirudh

    0

    French Revolution Causes Featured

    10 Major Causes of the French Revolution

    Anirudh

    0

    Famous Russian Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Paintings By Russian Artists

    Anirudh

    0

    Famous Female Poets Featured

    10 Most Famous Female Poets And Their Best Known Works

    Anirudh

    0

    Popular In Ten On Ten

    Greatest Japanese Artists Featured

    10 Famous Japanese Artists And Their Masterpieces

    Andy Warhol Famous Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Paintings by Andy Warhol

    Famous Pop Art Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Pop Art Paintings And Collages

    Famous Impressionist Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Impressionist Paintings

    Frida Kahlo Paintings Featured

    10 Most Famous Paintings by Frida Kahlo

    Copyright @ Turiya Infotainment Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.



    Categories

    • Articles
      • Accomplishments
      • Comparisions
      • Humourous
      • Interesting Facts
      • Learning
      • Opinions
      • Quick Facts
      • Top Ten Lists
    • Cartoons
      • Quotations
    • Featured Articles
    • Featured Videos
    • Mnemonics
      • Maps
      • Multiple Words
      • Periodic Table
      • Single Words
    • Popular
    • Tutorial
    • Videos
      • Funny
      • Learning
      • Powers of 10

    Tags

    Ancient Egypt
    Android
    Art & Artists
    Battles & Wars
    Celebrities
    China
    Civilizations
    Difference b/w Related Words
    Enigmas
    Events
    Explorers
    Geography
    Greco Roman World
    GRE High Frequency Word
    GRE Word
    Humor
    Kings & Queens
    Leaders & Icons
    Our Planet
    Places
    Popular Culture
    Programming
    SAT High Frequency Word
    SAT Word
    Scandals
    Science & Scientists
    Sports
    US Presidents
    Word Etymology
    Writers & Literature

    ©

    Edit with Live CSS

    x

    x

    THE BRITISH LIBRARY

    Search our website or catalogue


    Please enter your search term






    Discovering Literature




    Discovering Literature: Romantics & Victorians


    The Romantics

    The Romantics

    • Article created by: Stephanie Forward
    • Theme: Romanticism
    • Published: 15 May 2014
    Dr Stephanie Forward explains the key ideas and influences of Romanticism, and considers their place in the work of writers including Wordsworth, Blake, P B Shelley and Keats.

    Today the word ‘romantic’ evokes images of love and sentimentality, but the term ‘Romanticism’ has a much wider meaning. It covers a range of developments in art, literature, music and philosophy, spanning the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The ‘Romantics’ would not have used the term themselves: the label was applied retrospectively, from around the middle of the 19th century.

    In 1762 Jean-Jacques Rousseau declared in The Social Contract: ‘Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.’ During the Romantic period major transitions took place in society, as dissatisfied intellectuals and artists challenged the Establishment. In England, the Romantic poets were at the very heart of this movement. They were inspired by a desire for liberty, and they denounced the exploitation of the poor. There was an emphasis on the importance of the individual; a conviction that people should follow ideals rather than imposed conventions and rules. The Romantics renounced the rationalism and order associated with the preceding Enlightenment era, stressing the importance of expressing authentic personal feelings. They had a real sense of responsibility to their fellow men: they felt it was their duty to use their poetry to inform and inspire others, and to change society.

    Revolution

    When reference is made to Romantic verse, the poets who generally spring to mind are William Blake (1757-1827), William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), George Gordon, 6th Lord Byron (1788-1824), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and John Keats (1795-1821). These writers had an intuitive feeling that they were ‘chosen’ to guide others through the tempestuous period of change.

    This was a time of physical confrontation; of violent rebellion in parts of Europe and the New World. Conscious of anarchy across the English Channel, the British government feared similar outbreaks. The early Romantic poets tended to be supporters of the French Revolution, hoping that it would bring about political change; however, the bloody Reign of Terror shocked them profoundly and affected their views. In his youth William Wordsworth was drawn to the Republican cause in France, until he gradually became disenchanted with the Revolutionaries.

    Painting of the storming of the Bastille, 1789

    Painting of the storming of the Bastille, 1789

    Depiction of the storming of the Bastille, Paris – the event that triggered the French Revolution.

    View images from this item
     (1)

    The imagination

    The Romantics were not in agreement about everything they said and did: far from it! Nevertheless, certain key ideas dominated their writings. They genuinely thought that they were prophetic figures who could interpret reality. The Romantics highlighted the healing power of the imagination, because they truly believed that it could enable people to transcend their troubles and their circumstances. Their creative talents could illuminate and transform the world into a coherent vision, to regenerate mankind spiritually. In A Defence of Poetry (1821), Shelley elevated the status of poets: ‘They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive and all-penetrating spirit…’. [1] He declared that ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. This might sound somewhat pretentious, but it serves to convey the faith the Romantics had in their poetry.

    Manuscript of P B Shelley’s ‘The Masque of Anarchy’

    Manuscript of P B Shelley

    P B Shelley’s manuscript of ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, 1819, was a reaction of furious outrage at the Peterloo Massacre. An avowedly political poem, it praises the non-violence of the Manchester protesters when faced with the aggression of the state.

    View images from this item
     (24)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    The marginalised and oppressed

    Wordsworth was concerned about the elitism of earlier poets, whose highbrow language and subject matter were neither readily accessible nor particularly relevant to ordinary people. He maintained that poetry should be democratic; that it should be composed in ‘the language really spoken by men’ (Preface to Lyrical Ballads [1802]). For this reason, he tried to give a voice to those who tended to be marginalised and oppressed by society: the rural poor; discharged soldiers; ‘fallen’ women; the insane; and children.

    Blake was radical in his political views, frequently addressing social issues in his poems and expressing his concerns about the monarchy and the church. His poem ‘London’ draws attention to the suffering of chimney-sweeps, soldiers and prostitutes.

    Lyrical Ballads: 1800 edition

    In the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth writes that he has ‘taken as much pains to avoid [poetic diction] as others ordinarily take to produce it’, trying instead to ‘bring [his] language near to the language of men’.

    View images from this item
     (25)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience

    William Blake

    ‘London’ from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, 1794. Blake emphasises the injustice of late 18th-century society and the desperation of the poor. 

    View images from this item
     (50)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    Children, nature and the sublime

    For the world to be regenerated, the Romantics said that it was necessary to start all over again with a childlike perspective. They believed that children were special because they were innocent and uncorrupted, enjoying a precious affinity with nature. Romantic verse was suffused with reverence for the natural world. In Coleridge’s ‘Frost at Midnight’ (1798) the poet hailed nature as the ‘Great universal Teacher!’ Recalling his unhappy times at Christ’s Hospital School in London, he explained his aspirations for his son, Hartley, who would have the freedom to enjoy his childhood and appreciate his surroundings. The Romantics were inspired by the environment, and encouraged people to venture into new territories – both literally and metaphorically. In their writings they made the world seem a place with infinite, unlimited potential.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A Walking Tour of Cumbria

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A Walking Tour of Cumbria [folio: 3v-4r]

    In August 1802, Samuel Taylor Coleridge set out from his home at Greta Hall, Keswick, for a week’s solo walking-tour in the nearby Cumbrian mountains. He kept detailed notes of the landscape around him, drawing rough sketches and maps. These notes and sketches are in Notebook No 2, one of 64 notebooks Coleridge kept between 1794 and his death.

    View images from this item
     (1)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    A key idea in Romantic poetry is the concept of the sublime. This term conveys the feelings people experience when they see awesome landscapes, or find themselves in extreme situations which elicit both fear and admiration. For example, Shelley described his reaction to stunning, overwhelming scenery in the poem ‘Mont Blanc’ (1816).

    Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

    Burke

    In this 1757 essay, the philosopher Edmund Burke discusses the attraction of the immense, the terrible and the uncontrollable. The work had a profound influence on the Romantic poets.

    View images from this item
     (10)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    The second-generation Romantics

    Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge were first-generation Romantics, writing against a backdrop of war. Wordsworth, however, became increasingly conservative in his outlook: indeed, second-generation Romantics, such as Byron, Shelley and Keats, felt that he had ‘sold out’ to the Establishment. In the suppressed Dedication to Don Juan (1819-1824) Byron criticised the Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, and the other ‘Lakers’, Wordsworth and Coleridge (all three lived in the Lake District). Byron also vented his spleen on the English Foreign Secretary, Viscount Castlereagh, denouncing him as an ‘intellectual eunuch’, a ‘bungler’ and a ‘tinkering slavemaker’ (stanzas 11 and 14). Although the Romantics stressed the importance of the individual, they also advocated a commitment to mankind. Byron became actively involved in the struggles for Italian nationalism and the liberation of Greece from Ottoman rule.

    Notorious for his sexual exploits, and dogged by debt and scandal, Byron quitted Britain in 1816. Lady Caroline Lamb famously declared that he was ‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know.’ Similar accusations were pointed at Shelley. Nicknamed ‘Mad Shelley’ at Eton, he was sent down from Oxford for advocating atheism. He antagonised the Establishment further by his criticism of the monarchy, and by his immoral lifestyle.

    Letter from Lord Byron about his memoirs, 29 October 1819

    Letter from Lord Byron about his memoirs, 1819

    In this letter to his publisher, John Murray, Byron notes the poor reception of the first two cantos of Don Juan, but states that he has written a hundred stanzas of a third canto. He also states that he is leaving his memoirs to his friend George Moore, to be read after his death, but that this text does not include details of his love affairs.

    View images from this item
     (6)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    Female poets

    Female poets also contributed to the Romantic movement, but their strategies tended to be more subtle and less controversial. Although Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) was modest about her writing abilities, she produced poems of her own; and her journals and travel narratives certainly provided inspiration for her brother. Women were generally limited in their prospects, and many found themselves confined to the domestic sphere; nevertheless, they did manage to express or intimate their concerns. For example, Mary Alcock (c. 1742-1798) penned ‘The Chimney Sweeper’s Complaint’. In ‘The Birth-Day’, Mary Robinson (1758-1800) highlighted the enormous discrepancy between life for the rich and the poor. Gender issues were foregrounded in ‘Indian Woman’s Death Song’ by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835).

    The Gothic

    Reaction against the Enlightenment was reflected in the rise of the Gothic novel. The most popular and well-paid 18th-century novelist, Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823), specialised in ‘the hobgoblin-romance’. Her fiction held particular appeal for frustrated middle-class women who experienced a vicarious frisson of excitement when they read about heroines venturing into awe-inspiring landscapes. She was dubbed ‘Mother Radcliffe’ by Keats, because she had such an influence on Romantic poets. The Gothic genre contributed to Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) and Keats’s ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ (1819). Mary Shelley (1797-1851) blended realist, Gothic and Romantic elements to produce her masterpiece Frankenstein (1818), in which a number of Romantic aspects can be identified. She quotes from Coleridge’s Romantic poem The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere. In the third chapter Frankenstein refers to his scientific endeavours being driven by his imagination. The book raises worrying questions about the possibility of ‘regenerating’ mankind; but at several points the world of nature provides inspiration and solace.

    The Mysteries of Udolpho

    The Mysteries of Udolpho [page: vol. I frontispiece and title page]

    The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) by Ann Radcliffe was one of the most popular and influential Gothic novels of the late 18th century.

    View images from this item
     (13)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    The Byronic hero

    Romanticism set a trend for some literary stereotypes. Byron’s Childe Harold (1812-1818) described the wanderings of a young man, disillusioned with his empty way of life. The melancholy, dark, brooding, rebellious ‘Byronic hero’, a solitary wanderer, seemed to represent a generation, and the image lingered. The figure became a kind of role model for youngsters: men regarded him as ‘cool’ and women found him enticing! Byron died young, in 1824, after contracting a fever. This added to the ‘appeal’. Subsequently a number of complex and intriguing heroes appeared in novels: for example, Heathcliff in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Edward Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (both published in 1847).

    Illustrations to Wuthering Heights by Clare Leighton

    The Byronic hero influenced Emily Brontë’s portrayal of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. This 1931 edition of Brontë’s novel is illustrated with wood engravings by Clare Leighton.

    View images from this item
     (12)

    Usage terms Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial licence

    Held by © By arrangement with the Estate of Clare Leighton

    Contraries

    Romanticism offered a new way of looking at the world, prioritising imagination above reason. There was, however, a tension at times in the writings, as the poets tried to face up to life’s seeming contradictions. Blake published Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (1794). Here we find two different perspectives on religion in ‘The Lamb’ and ‘The Tyger’. The simple vocabulary and form of ‘The Lamb’ suggest that God is the beneficent, loving Good Shepherd. In stark contrast, the creator depicted in ‘The Tyger’ is a powerful blacksmith figure. The speaker is stunned by the exotic, frightening animal, posing the rhetorical question: ‘Did he who made the Lamb make thee?’ In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793) Blake asserted: ‘Without contraries is no progression’ (stanza 8).

    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

    William Blake was deeply critical of traditional religion but greatly admired John Milton. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell includes references to Milton and Paradise Lost and the book ends with ‘A Song of Liberty’, which calls for revolt against the tyrannies of church and state.

    View images from this item
     (14)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey’ (1798) juxtaposed moments of celebration and optimism with lamentation and regret. Keats thought in terms of an opposition between the imagination and the intellect. In a letter to his brothers, in December 1817, he explained what he meant by the term ‘Negative Capability’: ‘that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason’ (22 December). Keats suggested that it is impossible for us to find answers to the eternal questions we all have about human existence. Instead, our feelings and imaginations enable us to recognise Beauty, and it is Beauty that helps us through life’s bleak moments. Life involves a delicate balance between times of pleasure and pain. The individual has to learn to accept both aspects: ‘“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know’ (‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ [1819]).

    Manuscript of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ by John Keats

    ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ from a manuscript copy believed to be in the hand of George Keats, the poet’s brother.

    View images from this item
     (3)

    Usage terms Public Domain

    The premature deaths of Byron, Shelley and Keats contributed to their mystique. As time passed they attained iconic status, inspiring others to make their voices heard. The Romantic poets continue to exert a powerful influence on popular culture. Generations have been inspired by their promotion of self-expression, emotional intensity, personal freedom and social concern.

    Footnotes

    [1] Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley’s poetry and prose: authoritative texts, criticisms, ed. by Donald H. Reiman and Sharon B. Powers (New York; London: Norton, c.1977), p.485.

    • Stephanie Forward
    • Dr Stephanie Forward is a lecturer, specializing in English Literature. She has been involved in two important collaborative projects between the Open University and the BBC: The Big Read, and the television series The Romantics, and was a contributor to the British Library’s Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians site and to the 20th century site. Stephanie has an extensive publications record. She also edited the anthology Dreams, Visions and Realities; co-edited (with Ann Heilmann) Sex, Social Purity and Sarah Grand, and penned the script for the C.D. Blenheim Palace: The Churchills and their Palace.

    The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.

    See Also

    More articles on Romanticism

    • Blake’s two chimney sweepers
    • Looking at the manuscript of William Blake’s ‘London’
    • William Blake’s radical politics
    • The title page of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence (1789)
    • The music of William Blake’s poetry
    • William Blake’s Chimney Sweeper poems: a close reading
    • An introduction to ‘The Tyger’
    • William Blake and 18th-century children’s literature
    • The Peterloo Massacre
    • An introduction to ‘Ozymandias’
    • An introduction to ‘The Masque of Anarchy’
    • An introduction to ‘Tintern Abbey’
    • ‘Proved upon our pulses’: Keats in context
    • John Keats and ‘negative capability’
    • An introduction to Don Juan
    • An introduction to ‘To a Skylark’
    • Perceptions of childhood
    • John Keats, poet-physician
    • Representations of drugs in 19th-century literature
    • Looking at the manuscript of William Blake’s ‘London’
    • ‘To Autumn’: a city dweller’s perspective
    • Landscape and the Sublime
    • An introduction to ‘Ode on Melancholy’
    • An introduction to ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’: time, mortality and beauty
    • An introduction to ‘Ode to a Nightingale’
    • The Romantics and Italy
    • The Romantics and Classical Greece
    • Lord Byron, 19th-century bad boy
    • An introduction to Kubla Khan: or A Vision in a Dream
    • Kubla Khan and Coleridge’s exotic language
    • An introduction to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    • Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage: Lord Byron and the Battle of Waterloo
    • Wordsworth and the sublime
    • A ‘cargo of Songs’: Robert Burns, the Hastie manuscript and The Scots Musical Museum
    • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and the Villa Diodati
    • ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge’
    • Robert Burns: a career in verse

    Related Collection Items

    • A lock of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s hair and an alleged fragment of his ashes, together with a lock of Mary Shelley’s hair
    • Manuscript of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’
    • Review of Coleridge’s Christabel; Kubla Khan, a Vision; The Pains of Sleep from The Examiner
    • Manuscript of John Keats’s Hyperion
    • Cartoon portrait of William Wordsworth
    • Manuscript of ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ by William Wordsworth
    • Manuscript of ‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns
    • P B Shelley’s An Address to the Irish People
    • P B Shelley’s A Vindication of the Natural Diet
    • Mary Shelley’s History of a six weeks’ tour
    • The Revolt of Islam by P B Shelley
    • The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Thomas Medwin
    • The Cenci by P B Shelley
    • Posthumous Fragments of Margaret Nicholson by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Thomas Jefferson Hogg
    • Queen Mab with P B Shelley’s revisions for The Daemon of the World
    • Review of the publication of P B Shelley’s works
    • Queen Mab by P B Shelley, 1830
    • Letters concerning the relationship between P B Shelley and Mary Godwin, and the death of Shelley’s first wife
    • The autobiography of Leigh Hunt
    • The tour of Doctor Syntax
    • Letter from William Wordsworth to John Wilson, 7 June 1802
    • Manuscript of The Prelude by William Wordsworth
    • Letters from William Blake to Dr Trusler, August 1799
    • Portraits of the Romantic poets

    Related Works

    • ‘A Red, Red Rose’
    • ‘Kubla Khan’
    • Lyrical Ballads
    • ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
    • ‘Ode to a Nightingale’
    • ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’
    • ‘To a Skylark’
    • ‘To Autumn’
    • ‘Ozymandias’
    • The Prelude (Book I)
    • Hyperion

    Related Teaching Resources

    • Coleridge’s Kubla Khan: Composition
    • Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads: A Close Reading

    Related People

    • Lord Byron
    • William Blake
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • William Wordsworth
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    • Robert Burns
    • John Keats

    Share this page




    Print this page

    Please consider the environment before printing

    British Library newsletter

    • Romantics and Victorians
    • Authors
    • Works
    • Themes
    • Articles
    • Collection items
    • Videos
    • Teaching resources
    • About the project

    British Library website satisfaction survey

    Take part in our web survey!

    Why not take a few moments to tell us what you think of our website?

    Your views could help shape our site for the future.

    Choose Yes please to open the survey in a new browser window or tab, and then complete it when you are ready.

    Yes please
        
        
    No thanks