In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Ferber explores Romanticism during the period of its incubation, birth, and growth, covering the years roughly from 1760 to 1860. This is the only introduction to Romanticism that incorporates not only the English but the Continental movements, and not only literature but music, art, religion, and philosophy. Balancing lively details with intriguing topics, it sheds light on such subjects as the "Sensibility" movement, which preceded Romanticism; the rising prestige of the poet as inspired prophet; the suffering and neglect of the poet; the rather different figure of the "poetess"; Romanticism as a religious trend; Romantic philosophy and science; and Romantic responses to the French Revolution, the Orient, gypsies, and the condition of women. Ferber offers a definition and several general propositions about this very diverse movement, as well as a discussion of the word "Romantic" and where it came from. Finally, some two hundred authors or artists are cited or quoted, many at length, including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Emerson, Hugo, Goethe, Pushkin, Beethoven, Berlioz, Chopin, and Delacroix.
About the Author
Michael Ferber is a Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of New Hampshire. His research interests include romantic poetry, western literature from the Greeks forward, and war and peace studies.
Table of Contents
1. The word 'Romantic'
2. Its origin as an outgrowth of the Sensibility movement
3. The apotheosis or consecration of the poet
4. Romanticism as an international movement
5. Romanticism as a critique of society
6. Romantic themes, images, symbols, or Stoff
7. The Romantic system of the arts
8. Romantic religion
9. Decline of Romanticism