First published in 1983. This book charts the growth of Romanticism from the initial reactions to the authoritarian classicism of Louis XIV, through the ‘codification’ of the Sublime by Burke in the 1750s, to the fascination with mystery, fear and violence which dominated the writing of the late eighteenth century. The origins of the movement are found in the writings of Rousseau and admiration for the ‘noble savage’, the development of the landscape garden, discoveries in the South Seas, new approaches to ‘primitive’ poetry and enthusiasm for gothic art and literature. These attitudes are contrasted with the more classical views of writers like Samuel Johnson.
Table of Contents
Lists of plates; Foreword; Acknowledgments; 1. The Status Quo 2. Reaction 3. The Primitive; 4. Man-in-nature 5. Primitive Man 6. The Heyday 7. Ossian 8. ‘That Long Labyrinth of Darkness 9. The Noble Savage 10. The Wildness Pleases 11. Whiffs of Grapeshot; Additional bibliography; Index