The word "romantic" came into common usage in English in the 18th century, by which time the connotations of the medieval romance had expanded to encompass a wide-ranging taste for the picturesque and the fanciful: the cult of sensibility (or sentiment} of the mid-18th century. The classically-mi nded Samuel Johnson (1709-84}, sceptical of the new tendency, defined "Romantick" in his Dictionary of 1755:
Resembling the tales or romances; wild, improbable; false; fanc1ful; full
"Romantic" had in fact been used since the Renaissance to suggest free expression of the imagination in the arts, but mainly in a negative sense. Romantic imaginings were thought to interfere with the clarity of the art form, and so lay beyond the bounds of proper subject-matter. The emerging Romantic spirit of 18th century England was seen by some as a revival of Elizabethan literature and its "Gothic" tendencies. English Romanticism has been described as a "renaissance of the Renaissance". 4
You have no current subscriptions in your account.
Would you like to explore the titles in our collection?
You have no collections in your account.
Would you like to view your available titles?