The Romantic Era


The Renaissance





Medieval times

You can view history as a linear thing,


The Romantic era

Cause - Effect

Thesis - Antithetis - Synthesis

The conqueror writes the history.

You can also think of time as a pendulum,

that swings between ideas, ideals and identities.

Keep in mind:

The Enlightenment preceded the era in the early 1700s

"The era of reason"

The seeds planted by the Enlightenment


led to scientific and technological


advances, but also to ideas about


rationalism and reason.

The enlightenment is

concerned with the brain and its faculties!

Reason, intellect, deduction!

But the pendulum swings...

The term romanticism comes from the old french word romanz, meaning prose or folktale. The term is also the origin of the swedish word roman.

The Reading Maiden - Otto Scholderer

Let's play a game!

I consider myself to be a romantic person.



Where is the most romantic place to be?

Which of these symbols is more romantic?

Wich of these paintings gives the most accurate view of the romantic era?

Wich of these are more typical romantic?

This is our modern take on romanticism





But it would be foreign for the people who lived during the Romantic era.









The Romantic era


The romantic era was not only a cultural influence that led to artistic and literary renewal but also a change in spiritual life. 


People of the romantic era were strictly religous and scientists started to see traces of "God" in nature and every living thing. This changed the idea of an abstract, passive deity in heaven to a more present and active

one in everyday life. 

Deism                                            Pantheism

Friheten på barrikaderna - Delacroix 1830

American revolution (1775-1783)

French revolution (1789-1799)

Wars and Revolutions

At first the English were sympathetic to the democratic ideals and the ideas of "liberty, equality and fraternity”.

But many turned conservative after the bloody "purges" of aristocrats.


Changed the world and the lives of people completely!

Industrialism led to big Changes for

how our society is structured.


Beer street and gin Alley - Hogarth

Great Britain

The romantic era in Great Britain started when authors started to experiment with their own sensory perceptions, for instance, through alcohol and drug use.


​The era was dominated above all by poetry.

​A Sharp break with the focus

​on common sense and reason of the previous era.


​Poetry allowed poets to freely express their emotions.

​Imagination, Inspiration and individualism were key mottos of the poets of this era.


Great Britain


"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn

a stately pleasure dome erect..."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his Epic poem Kubla Kahn while in an opium haze.



"The Lake Poets"

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge  "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"



  • Robert Southey "The Story of the Three Bears"
  • William Wordsworth  "The Prelude"

Anti-industrialism and technology

Pro-nature and the simple life

Great Britain

Other famous poets during the Romantic era

  • William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron – Don Juan
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley – Prometheus Unbound, "Adonaïs", "Ode to the West Wind", "Ozymandias"
  • John Keats – Great Odes, "Hyperion", "Endymion"

An interest in history particularly the Middle ages.
Also Hellenism and then especially the love of Beauty.


Infant Joy

I have no name

I am but two days old.—

What shall I call thee?

I happy am

Joy is my name,—

Sweet joy befall thee!


Pretty joy!

Sweet joy but two days old,

Sweet joy I call thee;

Thou dost smile.

I sing the while

Sweet joy befall thee.

William Blake



Lord Byron - "Mad, bad and dangerous to know"

Childe Harold's pilgrimage 1812-1818


- Lady Lamb

Individualism, bordering on  egotism.

Anne, Emily and Charlotte Brontë

They all wrote under male pseudonyms using the surname "Bell" 

Charlotte wrote "Jane Eyre"

as Currer Bell

Emily wrote "Wuthering heights"

as Ellis Bell

Anne wrote "The tenant at Wildfell hall"

as Acton Bell

The Brontë sisters

1820-1849      1818-1848      1816-1855

Wuthering heights - Thug notes

All our modern genres stem from the Romantic era: Science fiction, horror, detective novels, biographies, paranormal, fantasy.


​The Romantic era continues to influence our modern Culture in many ways!


Jules Verne - "Twenty thousand Leagues under the sea"

Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

"Auld Lang Syne"

Walter Scott 1771 - 1832

"Ivanhoe", "Rob Roy",

"The Lady of the Lake"

Iron Maiden - The rime of the ancient mariner

The Castle of Otranto


 "The first gothic novel" 1764

Horace Walpole



A love of the strange and the exotic, mystery and the supernatural = gothicism

Bram Stoker 1847 - 1912


"A tale of dark romanticism"

Epistolary novel


Edgar Allen Poe


The Gothic movement combines horror, fiction, Death and often times romance. Many North American authors wrote books that are considered gothic horror classics.

Washington Irving

1783 - 1859

Gothic horror feeds on a pleasing state of fear something we in Swedish might call "mysrysare".

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door

Only this and nothing more.”

 National romanticism

Wanderer above the sea of fog - Friedrich 1818

Nature vs.

the ugly industrialized towns


Authors started collecting works that were typical for their region.

 Idea of the superiority of their own region, language, customs and religion.

Eventually this leads to nationalism.

A Rainy summer....1816

Villa Diodati, Genève

"The year without a summer"

Lord Byron, Dr. Polidori, The Shelleys, Claire Clairmont.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

1797 - 1851

Frankenstein - 1818

And Austen - A Rara Avis

Jane Austen


Although Austen produced most of her works during the span of the Romantic era her style differs from the typical elements of the time.  She is in a class of her own.


The period which she depicted is known as the "Regency period".


Sense and sensibility 1811

Pride and prejudice 1813

Mansfield Park 1814

Emma 1815

Northanger Abbey 1818

Persuasion 1818

The settings of her books are often in Britain's high society and one of her overarching themes is class.

The plots often concern themselves with how family life was during this time, especially with regards to intrigue, gossip and match making.


Austen had insight into how

life was for the lower gentry.

The Romantic era was all about escapism, strong emotions and exploration of the spiritual and exotic. 


Literary genres such as fantasy, science fiction and horror comes from this period.


Nationalism as a movement began to grow.


An idea of freedom from oppression led to revolutions and war. 


The romantic era ended in the middle of 1800's and was followed by Realism and Naturalism.














Transcendentalism - U.S.A.

A philosophical, spiritual movement that had as its main idea that people and nature are inherently good.

"Transcendentalists are strong believers in the power of the individual. It focuses primarily on personal freedom. Their beliefs are closely linked with those of the Romantics but differ by an attempt to embrace or, at least, to not oppose the empiricism of science."

- Wikipedia

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Henry David Thoreau


Walt Whitman


Leaves of grass


"What I assume

You shall assume

for every atom

belonging to me

as good belongs to you!"

Sturm und drang

Storm and longing



The Sorrows of Young Werther


Could rightly be called the first "Bestseller"

it was sold in millions of copies around Europe. 


Goethe had to rewrite the ending and make the suicide less spectacular because of the alarming trend of young men killing themselves after reading the book.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The sorrows of Young Werther



The Brothers Grimm
Jacob (1785-1863) Wilhelm (1786-1859)


"Disneyfication" removes the stories from their gruesome original versions.


The Grimm Brothers' collected the spoken stories of ordinary people thus perserving them for the future.

Alexandre Dumas "père"

Dumas was another french author whose most notable works are The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo

Extra Points

if you can name

all the musketeers!


What was their motto!?

1802 - 1870


France in the Romantic era

Due to the Napoleonic wars France entered the Romantic era later than other countries. The breakthrough author was Victor Hugo and his most famous works included Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre-dame as well as poetry and dramatic plays.

1802 - 1885


Romantic Era

By besskirsi

Romantic Era

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