Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199568918

Michael Ferber
168 Pages
115 x 176 mm
Pub date
Sep 2010
Very Short Introductions


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  • Explores the definition of the word 'Romantic' and considers its origins
  • Unravels a complex and confusing subject to help the reader understand the various meanings of Romanticism
  • Covers a wide range of artistic forms including Romantic literature, music, painting, religion, and philosophy in several European countries

What is Romanticism? In this Very Short Introduction Michael Ferber answers this by considering who the romantics were and looks at what they had in common — their ideas, beliefs, commitments, and tastes. He looks at the birth and growth of Romanticism throughout Europe and the Americas, and examines various types of Romantic literature, music, painting, religion, and philosophy. 

Focusing on topics, Ferber looks at the 'Sensibility' movement, which preceded Romanticism; the rising prestige of the poet; Romanticism as a religious trend; Romantic philosophy and science; Romantic responses to the French Revolution; and the condition of women. Using examples and quotations he presents a clear insight into this very diverse movement, and offers a definition as well as a discussion of the word 'Romantic' and where it came from.


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

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.

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