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What is "Romanticism"?

The word "Romantic" derives from the Old French romanz, meaning the vernacular "romance" languages that developed from Latin - Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Provenc;al.

The medieval romance or romaunt came to mean a tale of chivalry written in one of these romance languages, usually in verse, and often taking the form of a quest.

Our co lloquial use of "romance" and "romantic" to describe intense emotional experiences can be traced back to this medieval sense of the word, and so can the 18th and 19th century concept of "Romanticism" as an intellectual experience, which is the subject of this book.


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