Welcome to the Wordsworth and Romanticism Blog. Here you will find lively and engaging explorations of the literature, history and culture of the Romantic period (1750 to 1850) from a variety of contributors. Illuminating and thought-provoking, they offer fresh perspectives on a period in our cultural history that continues to fascinate and inspire.

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'The Albatross': From Rime to opera

by Sinéad O’Neill

Melville was right when he wrote, of the Albatross, ‘that white phantom sails in all imaginations.’ It sailed then, and it sails still. Coleridge’s poem on the same subject also haunts the collective imagination. It has certainly caught my fancy, enough to make me want to create an opera. Even people unfamiliar […]

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Contemporary creative responses
Dramatisiations and fictionalisations
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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Romantic but hardly romantic: Sarah Fricker'’s life as Coleridge’'s wife

by Pamela Davenport

On a recent visit to Somerset, I rediscovered the beautiful Quantock Hills, which are characterised by deeply wooded combes and wonderful heathland covered with heather, and are truly deserving of their designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visiting Coleridge’s cottage in Nether Stowey made me think again about Coleridge as […]

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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Wordsworth in Leicestershire

by Jeanne Rae

Coleorton is an unremarkable village in North West Leicestershire, where the landscape was defined for almost 500 years by a coal industry that’s long since gone. The old colliery site has been planted over by the National Forest and Coleorton Hall, a Grade II listed building that once hosted […]

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Contemporary creative responses
Dramatisiations and fictionalisations
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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Flashing flowers

'Flashes upon the inward eye’ : Wordsworth, Coleridge and ‘Flashing Flowers’

by Fred Blick

Few readers will be aware of the ‘Elizabeth Linnaeus phenomenon’ today; yet over a span of almost two hundred years botanists, gardeners and scientists speculated about it. Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of the famous botanist, Carl Linné, known as Linnaeus.

One evening in the early 1760s, she was enjoying […]

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The intellectual context of Romanticism
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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fast food

Diets of the Romantic poets

by Andrew McConnell Stott

Cartoon by Mike Barfield

 

The most notable meal in the history of English Romantic poetry took place on a Sunday afternoon in late December, 1817, as a garrulous group of men assembled at the London home of the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon.

The guests included William Wordsworth, the essayist Charles […]

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John Keats
Lord Byron
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Blake
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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Coleridge in Wales at the Hay Literary Festival: Walking with Coleridge, Wordsworth and Thelwall

by Elsa Hammond

 

‘What has Coleridge got to do with Wales?’ This was the question most frequently posed by interested audience members, participants, walkers, and passers-by during the Coleridge in Wales events at the Hay Literary Festival this year.

In June 1794 Coleridge departed Cambridge to spend the […]

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Dorothy Wordsworth
John Thelwall
Robert Southey
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Uncategorised
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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Emerson in 1846. By Eastman Johnson, Longfellow House, Cambridge, MAEmerson in 1846. By Eastman Johnson, Longfellow House, Cambridge, MA

Among the poets: Ralph Waldo Emerson meets Wordsworth and Coleridge

By Chris Townsend

In 1832, the philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was at something of a crossroads in his life. For one thing, he was not yet either philosopher nor poet. He was cut with grief after suffering the loss of his young wife the previous year, and was spending his days in perpetual […]

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

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