A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 451 pages of information about A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century.
as a literary schism.  The prospectus of the Globe, an important document on the romantic side, dates from the same year.  The Constitutionnel, the most narrowly classical of the opposing journals, described romanticism as an epidemic malady.  To the year 1825, when the Cenacle had its headquarters at Victor Hugo’s house, belong, among others, the following manifestoes on both sides of the controversy; “Les Classiques Venges,” De la Touche; “Le Temple du Romantisme,” Morel; “Le Classique et le Romantique” (a satirical comedy in the classical interest), Baour-Lormian.  Cyprien Desmarais’ “Essais sur les classiques et les romantiques” had appeared at Paris in 1823.  At Rouen was printed in 1826 “Du Classique et du Romantique,” a collection of papers read at the Rouen Academy during the year, rather favorable, on the whole, to the new movement.

[30] This is now a somewhat rare book; I have never seen a copy of it; but it was reviewed in The Saturday Review (vol. lxv., p. 369).

[31] Part ii., Book iii., chap ix.

[32]Part ii., Book iv., chap. i.

[33] For Chateaubriand and Ossian see vol. i., pp. 332-33.  He made translations from Ossian, Gray, and Milton.

[34] “Victor Hugo,” par Paul Boudois, p. 32.

[35] Vol. i., p. 10.

[36] See vol. i., p. 379.

[37] The use of this form instead of romantisme is perhaps worth noticing.

[38] See vol. i., pp. 19-20.

[39] Sainte-Beuve’s “Confessions de Joseph Delorme,” 1829.

[40] See vol. i., pp. 18-23.

CHAPTER VI.

Diffused Romanticism in the Literature of the Nineteenth Century.

Most of the poetry of the century that has just closed has been romantic in the wider or looser acceptation of the term.  Emotional stress, sensitiveness to the picturesque, love of natural scenery, interest in distant times and places, curiosity of the wonderful and mysterious, subjectivity, lyricism, intrusion of the ego, impatience of the limits of the genres, eager experiment with new forms of art—­these and the like marks of the romantic spirit are as common in the verse literature of the nineteenth century as they are rare in that of the eighteenth.  The same is true of imaginative prose, particularly during the first half of the century, the late Georgian and early Victorian period.  In contrast with Addison, Swift, and Goldsmith, De Quincey, Carlyle, and Ruskin are romanticists.  In contrast with Hume, Macaulay is romantic, concrete, pictorial.  The critical work of Hazlitt and Lamb was in line with Coleridge’s.  They praised the pre-Augustan writers, the Elizabethan dramatists, the seventeenth-century humorists and moralists, the Sidneian amourists and fanciful sonneteers, at the expense of their classical successors.

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