Welcome to the Romantic Literature Guide! This guide is to help you find useful resources related to Romantic literature, including books, ebooks, articles, and databases. Please be sure to check out the English Department Program homepage if you are interested in learning more about this area of study as well.
According to Encyclopædia Britannica,
- "Pre-Romanticism is marked by a new appreciation of the medieval romance, from which the Romantic movement derives its name. The romance was a tale or ballad of chivalric adventure whose emphasis on individual heroism and on the exotic and the mysterious was in clear contrast to the elegant formality and artificiality of prevailing Classical forms of literature
- This new interest in relatively unsophisticated but overtly emotional literary expressions of the past was to be a dominant note in Romanticism.
- Romanticism in English literature began in the 1790s with the publication of the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth’s ‘Preface’ to the second edition (1800) of Lyrical Ballads, in which he described poetry as ‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,’ became the manifesto of the English Romantic movement in poetry.
- William Blake was the third principal poet of the movement’s early phase in England. The first phase of the Romantic movement in Germany was marked by innovations in both content and literary style and by a preoccupation with the mystical, the subconscious, and the supernatural.
- The second phase of Romanticism, comprising the period from about 1805 to the 1830s, was marked by a quickening of cultural nationalism and a new attention to national origins, as attested by the collection and imitation of native folklore, folk ballads and poetry, folk dance and music, and even previously ignored medieval and Renaissance works.
- The revived historical appreciation was translated into imaginative writing by Sir Walter Scott, who is often considered to have invented the historical novel.
- At about this same time English Romantic poetry had reached its zenith in the works of John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
- A notable by-product of the Romantic interest in the emotional were works dealing with the supernatural, the weird, and the horrible, as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and works by C.R. Maturin, the Marquis de Sade, and E.T.A. Hoffmann."