Romanticism emphasizes intuition, imagination and feelings, as an opposition to the importance of reason during the Age of Enlightenment, and focuses on Nature; a place free from society's judgement and restrictions. Thus, these are the recurrent topics for Romantic writers. They also found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder and "pure" nature. Furthermore, several romantic authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology.



Early beginnings.

Early pioneers include Joseph Warton (headmaster at Winchester College) and his brother Thomas Warton, professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Joseph maintained that Invention and Imagination were the chief qualities of a poet.
The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762, inspiring both Goethe and the young Walter Scott.
James Thomson shows in his works the landscape as a symbol of the poet's emotions. Edward Young introduces in his poems The Nights the dark and terrorific atmosphere common in many Romantic works.
But it was William Blake the first author to be considered a romantic because of his works "//Songs of Innocence and Experience//". He claimed “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's.”


380px-Blake_sie_cover.jpg Romantic Poetry.

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads (1798) and created what now is considered a manifesto of the basics of Romantic Poetry. They rejected Augustan poetry in favour of a more direct one derived from folk traditions. Wordsworth himself in the Preface to his and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads defined good poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”. He also emphasizes the importance of the use of meter in poetry, which he views as one of the key features that differentiates poetry from prose.
Romantic poets were actively engaged in trying to create a new kind of poetry that emphasized intuition over reason and the pastoral over the urban, often avoiding consciously poetic language in an effort to use more everyday or "real" and spontanneous language. The movement was still greatly concerned with the pain of composition, of translating emotive responses into the form of Poetry. Indeed, Samuel Taylor Coleridge considered poetry as "the reconciler of nature and man".
Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, John Keats and John Clare constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain.


The six most well-known authors are, in order of birth and with an example of their work:



200px-CastleOtranto.pngThe novel.

Gothic Novel.

The Castle of Otranto (1764) novel by Horace Walpole, is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. This genre combines elements of both horror and romance. The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole's novel. Melodrama and parody (including self-parody) were other long-standing features of the Gothic initiated by Walpole.
Other Gothic novelist are Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier.

Historic Novel.

Historic narrative was very popular during the Romantic period, due to the attraction to past times.
Walter Scott was its creator. He wrote about Medieval times and not idealized heroes, presented with realism in everyday life situations, fighting against tyranny and oprression. Among his best-known works are Quentin Durward and Ivanhoe.


All these information was extracted from Wikipedia.