Today we are going to tell you a bit more about the literary period which is called “romanticism”. It’s perfect for us due to the fact that we are both very romantic souls ;).
We start with a little background information. We can situate Romanticism end eighteenth, start nineteenth century. It was a counter-reaction to the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, were intellect and sense were worshiped.
We find ourselves now in the Western culture. This means especially Germany, France, United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands.
There is the French Revolution in 1789. This plays also a very big role during Romanticism. A reason for this was that Napoleon while he was ruling in France, push his own free will on the culture and art. Therefore, there weren’t any possibilities for the others to think different. It really wasn’t an option. Napoleon was of the principle that Neoclassicism was the most important current.
The Industrial Revolution starts in 1848.
This is when Friedrich Engels his book published which is called “The condition of the working class in England”. The Marxism was born due to the theories of Karl Marx. The bourgeoisie embraced liberalism but also had to deal with new markets and competitors. The inhabitants already had hate for the Jewish nation.
These days Romanticism isn’t the same as during the old ages. Right now, we want to discover ourselves and we can find us back in other life-forms. But of course, we base ourselves on another period. Maybe because our era isn’t quit that great. We rely ourselves on the Middle Ages.
During this era, subjective experiences were the fundamental ideas. Emotions, intuition, spontaneity and imagination were in the center of attention. The aim in life was to chase perfection.
However, the working conditions were often very bad. Furthermore were the laborers underpaid and they worked in dangerous situations. Despite their positions were the laborers very powerful because they came in a large amount. In the romantic period, the first labor unions were introduced to protect the workforce.
Here you can see a picture of an eighteenth century factory, to give you an idea of what they looked like. The factories were often huge buildings with a lot of laborers, otherwise it wasn’t a profitable enterprise because of all the coal that needed to be exploited.
Due to the large employment, the majority left the countryside and moved to the city to find work. This motion resulted in a fast growth of the cities which led into overpopulated, unhygienic slums.
The government tried to control the population explosion, but without success. Wide streets were installed, but the efforts were in vain, epidemics broke out.
Since people had the desire to become more free, the economy started flourishing. The common people took initiative and traded. This goes hand in hand with the growing need of energy. The first energy source was wood but this wasn’t providing enough, so people switched to coal, especially when the steam engine by James Watt and later on by Stephenson was invented. The mining industry became a branch itself and conventional rails were introduced as a new conveyance. In the meantime is the industry producing iron and steel, and that’s how the industry quickly expanded and the technical development got on track.
On this slide , you can see a few inventions because of the developing sciences. Can you guess what the invention is? Raise your hand if you think you know it and maybe there is a reward when you are right.
The spinning Jenny from Joseph Arkwright, it’s an automatic spinning-machine where the weaving-loom is programmed
The anesthetic agent Chloroform was discovered by Samuel Guthrie in 1831. From then on, it was possible to operate when you are numbed.
The hobby-horse or dandy-horse was invented by Karl Drais in 1817. It’s a new sort of transport after the stagecoach. The idea is that you sit on the saddle of the bicycle and then you walk or run.
Now, we would like to give you some typical aspects of the Romantic period, which we are short explaining.
Here you can see what the interior looked like. The furniture was often made of qualitative wood and most frequently used colors were dark red and green. In order to decorate the room, mirrors, little palm trees, pillows and so on were used.
The main task of a man was to become rich very fast, so he could marry a good woman. The woman as an arranged marriage. She had to do the household chores and take care of the kids, and in most cases, there were a lot of them. Together with his wife, the man also had a mistress.
The purpose of the clothing of the ladies during the Romanticism, was to look as slender as possible by wearing a corset. The corset was tightened that much that the rib cage around 12 cm smaller became. Women often couldn’t breath, so they fainted. they wore crinolines that sometimes were 2 meters wide.
Men wore pants in sad colors and a coat in more bright colors. A top hat was also part of the outfit.
The elite had clothes made out of velvet and pure silk. The hairstyle was ringlets for woman and a mustache with side-whiskers for men.
The romantic period expresses itself in music, art and literature.
The music can be described as tender, vulnerable, harmonious, peaceful, charming and damped. To prove this, we would like to let you hear a short fragment of a very famous song.
Love and nature are very important aspects in the art of painting. The reality is often idealized and there is attention for dreams and extreme experiences. Love is unreachable and you will often be stricken by fate at the moment you’re the most happy. The pieces of art often don’t have the same characteristics, but they do have the same attitude to life.
Here you can see a painting of the heroical romanticism, where there is the need to escape out of a melancholic world. (6) and this is the citizen romanticism, were an everyday life is represented.
The historical novel is a new genre in the literature. We both read a book that is situated in the romantic period. ? we geven elk de promotie van ons boek + board
Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
Now I am going to tell you short a summary of my book. It was a very beautiful book, we only had to read 100 pages but that was enough because the writing was very difficult.
We are going to give you a bit information about the books and further about the writing.
I have to tell you that it is very complicated because it seems that love was such an easy thing in these days, everyone seems to fell in love with each other. But of course this is my opinion.
Pride and Prejudice is about five unmarried sisters from the English middle class around the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The main character is Elizabeth Bennet, the second-oldest sister and also the most intelligent. Her mother tries to have all five daughters marry wealthy men, since their father’s property can only be inherited by a male heir and will therefore belong to a cousin.
In the meanwhile, the Bennets have new neighbours. There names are Charles Bingley and his friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. The most beautiful sister of Elizabeth named Jane fells in love with the handsome Bingley. Because of course, love is the key to all and otherwise, we won’t be talking about Romanticism.
Mr Collins asks the hand of Elizabeth but she says that she can’t accept that due to “feelings prohibit her in all respects from accepting the proposal”. Collins finally marries Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s 27-year-old girlfriend.
When Charles Bingley suddenly leaves, Jane is desperate because she is in love with him. Elizabeth finds out that mr Darcy is the reason behind it.
Mr. Darcy unexpectedly makes Elizabeth a passionate marriage proposal. However, Elizabeth has no intention of marrying the man who has ruined her sister’s life and also the life of poor Mr. Wickham, whom she got to know through her dissolute youngest sister Lydia.
Elizabeth travels with her aunt and uncle through the country. They visit the mansion of Mr Darcy because he wasn’t home but suddenly they are surprised. He came home and he introduces her to one of his sisters.
Everything could happen in these books because it’s such a coincidence that Elizabeth receives a letter from her sister Jane in which he writes that Lydia is off with Mr. Wickham. This is such a shame for the whole family because he is a poor man.
Elizabeth, her uncle and aunt return home immediately. Finally, Lydia is found and she marries Mr. Wickham.
Then the whole company of Darcy, Bingley and his sisters returns to Netherfield. Bingley and Jane meet again, and He asks her to marry him – after having asked Darcy for permission. Elizabeth now realizes that she has judged Darcy totally wrong. On a joint outing, after Elizabeth thanked him for his intervention, he tells her that his feelings for her have not changed, and he asks her again. This time she agrees and admits she loves him.
Under the greenwood tree ~ Thomas Hardy
The story begins in the winter, when we meet a group of villagers who play stringed instruments in the church choir. There’s a new vicar in Mellstock which is called the Reverend Maybold. And he has plans to replace the traditional choir with a new mechanical church organ. The organ will be played by another newcomer to the village, a pretty young school teacher whose name is Fancy Day.
The musicians are upset when they learn that they are going to be replaced, but one of them, Dick Dewy, finds himself falling in love with Fancy Day. However, unknown to Dick he has several rivals for Fancy’s love, including a rich local farmer and even the Reverend Maybold himself.
By the time that spring arrives, Dick has become a pale and shadowy figure of a man. It is obvious to all, except Fancy and her two other admirers, that Dick is not himself, but no one is certain of the cause since he says nothing of his feelings.
Out of kindness to the choir members, Maybold agrees to wait for a time before dispensing with their singing; he also promises to have their last performance on a special day, rather than on an ordinary Sunday.
Dick is excited to learn that Fancy is to dine at the Dewey home. When he arrives, full of excitement to see her, he is disappointed to find Farmer Shiner already present at the house. During dinner, however, his spirits rise when Fancy allows him to touch her hand. He is definitely in love with her and want to express his feelings for her.
He writes a letter but he didn’t get any answer. So he decided to take her out for a dinner.
As he is about to leave the village for a mission, he sees Fancy waiting for the carrier to take her home. Seizing the opportunity, Dick helps her to get into his cart and triumphantly carries her off. On his way home, he proposes her and she said that they can’t marry for sometime. And that this has to remain silent.
Also, Fancy’s father has told her that he hopes she will accept Farmer Shiner as her husband, since he is wealthy and available.
Fancy flirts a lot with other men and makes herself pretty for them.
One day he prepares himself to ask the permission of her father so that they could marry . He didn’t give permission because he said that he wasn’t wealthy enough for his daughter. Heart-broken, Dick agrees and sadly returns home.
Fancy doesn’t eat and her father notices this of course. He is even begging after a while to marry with Dick.
On the day that Fancy is to begin playing the organ in church, she puts her hair in curls and dresses herself more lavishly than ever before. Dick is sorry to see her dress so beautifully when she knows he will not be present to see her play because he has to present on a funeral of a friend. But she doesn’t give him even a kiss.
The new vicar Maybold in town gets a warm welcome and he decided to ask her hand. And it is a very big surprise that she said yes.
Maybold then writes a note to Fancy, telling her that she cannot honorably forsake Dick. Before his note is delivered, he receives a letter from Fancy in which she says that she is in love with another man. Fancy marries with Dick and they live happily ever after.
The writing style
Our books come from the same literary period so they have the same characteristics. The book itself is very difficult to read due to the fact that old language is used like thy, thee, thus, acquaintance and so on. But also because the nature is very long-wided described.
The topics which are mentioned in our books are child mortality, social class and love affairs.
One subject that we already mentioned was the importance of nature in these days. Especially trees, birds and flowers are described.
We can also establish poetical writing. First it was written as free verse which was used by Walt Whitman. He considered himself as a true rebellion. The individually of the character was very important. His most famous poem is called “Song of myself”.
To round of our presentation, we have one last little game. You just have to fill out the right part of the sentence.
I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of imagination. – Keats
- Jongeleen, N. (29 october 2015). Romantiek. Retrieved March 29, 2019, from
- Matt. (12 september 2016). The 19th century: Romanticism in art and literature. Retrieved March 29, 2019, from
- Pride and prejudice (boek). Retrieved March 29, 2019, from
- UTC. (22 february 2019). Under the greenwood tree. Retrieved March 29, 2019, from
- Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube Waltz. Retrieved March 29, 2019, from
Cite this essay
Literary Period – Romanticism. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/literary-period-romanticism-essay