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By Stuart Curran

Before there was no concerted try to symbolize to scholars of Romanticism the total variety of conflicting forces liable for its dynamic literature. The 11 unique essays that make up this quantity make an important contribution to our figuring out of the interval, supplying readers with transparent and coherent entry to the historic roots, highbrow ferment and cultural diversity of British Romanticism. It contains a chronology of significant courses and occasions, and an intensive advisor to extra examining.

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Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 28 MARSHALL BROWN and opera) grow continuously out of eighteenth-century traditions, and in Germany, where there is a marked shift in style beginning around 1760, it is more a turn from French to English models than an advance from Enlightenment to Romanticism. Nor did the Romantic novel simply reject earlier forms: Austen modeled her moralism and her meticulous prose on Johnson, while the epistolary novel survived, largely through the mediation of Goethe's Werther, in Holderlin's Hyperion, Foscolo's Jacopo Ortis, Scott's Redgauntlet, and numerous others.

Dislodging individual themes and motifs from the contexts where they occur gives a distorted picture of their significance: however steadily Brockes and Thomson may look at their subjects, devotional descriptions of birds and flowers do not really greatly resemble Wordsworth's personal memory poems. And isolated and imperfect anticipations, such as Akenside's blank-verse "Inscriptions" or Walpole's Castle of Otranto (written in 1764 but, as Mehrotra showed in his study of its influence, not really influential until about the time of Ann Radcliffe),4 or even the handful of nature sonnets written by William Lisle Bowles in the years around 1790, do not equate with the prolific and controlled achievements of the Romantics.

3 To be sure, few scholars still use the term pre-Romanticism. Dislodging individual themes and motifs from the contexts where they occur gives a distorted picture of their significance: however steadily Brockes and Thomson may look at their subjects, devotional descriptions of birds and flowers do not really greatly resemble Wordsworth's personal memory poems. And isolated and imperfect anticipations, such as Akenside's blank-verse "Inscriptions" or Walpole's Castle of Otranto (written in 1764 but, as Mehrotra showed in his study of its influence, not really influential until about the time of Ann Radcliffe),4 or even the handful of nature sonnets written by William Lisle Bowles in the years around 1790, do not equate with the prolific and controlled achievements of the Romantics.

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