German Influence in the English Romantic Period, 1788-1818: With Special Reference to Scott, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron

German Influence in the English Romantic Period, 1788-1818: With Special Reference to Scott, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron

German Influence in the English Romantic Period, 1788-1818: With Special Reference to Scott, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron

German Influence in the English Romantic Period, 1788-1818: With Special Reference to Scott, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron

Excerpt

It is proposed to examine here in what manner and to what extent interest in German literature was excited in England at the end of the eighteenth and at the beginning of the nineteenth century; and to trace this interest more particularly in the work of certain English writers of the period. Our investigation extends approximately from 1790 to 1820 ; before the former of these dates the existence of German literature as a subject of study and a source of pleasure and enlightenment had received next to no public recognition in Great Britain, beyond that contained in Henry Mackenzie's paper on the German drama: by 1820 the long torpor which succeeded the first extravagant enthusiasm for certain products of German literature is yielding to a renewed and more intelligent realisation of the importance of Germany for Western culture; the way is prepared for Carlyle, and in general for the acquisition by the English public of more reliable and more valuable information about Germany and its literature.

Within these limits we shall note an increasing knowledge of German literature, and on the whole an increasing admiration for it, amounting to enthusiasm in particular cases. It must be acknowledged, however, that the enthusiasm is frequently misdirected, that a sane appreciation by English students of the relative values of German works is confined chiefly to a few of the more comprehensive thinkers of the day; and that the general cultured estimate of German literature during this period is erratic and uncritical. This may be chiefly due to the fact, which is mentioned in the Introductory Chapter and will be confirmed in later chapters, that the considerations which first recommend the literature of Germany to the attention of the English public are not, properly speaking, literary at all; it . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.