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More needed on Italy[edit]

I'm Italian,so I noticed this page has a worth of information about Italian Romanticism,that was also important like English,France and German Romanticism.Authors like Foscolo,Leopardi,the discussion between Madame de stael and Biblioteca Italiana,the period of Risorgimento and so on aren't mentioned,but they had a great influence in the European culture.Please,I'm not so good at English so I can't write more information for you,but these is really a big hole for your page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Romanticism/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 14:51, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

  • I'll be glad to handle this review. I'll start in the next 2-3 days. -- Khazar2 (talk) 14:51, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

First readthrough[edit]

First, let me apologize that this took me a few days longer to start than I'd said; I've been dealing with some health issues and haven't been doing much serious editing in the meantime.

Overall this is a very strong article. It's wide in scope but distills the important ideas, with abundant but not excessive examples. I'm a literature PhD who's read a fair amount about romanticism, but this explains it more clearly than any text I've previously encountered. Really excellent work.

The biggest issue I see in my initial reading is a lack of citations for matters of critical interpretation and opinion (X is more important than Y, Z is the greatest work of the period, A is the biggest influence on B, etc.); most of these will have to be addressed to fulfill criteria 2b and 2c. I'll give you some initial action points below; once the majority of these are taken care of, we can move along to later sections.

Lead, sections 1-2[edit]

  • "in the long term its effect on the growth of nationalism was probably more significant." -- this judgement needs a citation. The section on Romantic nationalism seems to be almost entirely without citations, which is problematic.
  • This isn't a factor for a GA review, but per WP:REPEATLINK, avoid linking terms and names more than once after the lead section.
  • This article is weak in citations, and some paragraphs appear to have no citations at all, including some that include critical judgments. If Romanticism is so difficult to define, for example, how can we say for sure that neither Burns or Moore "had a fully Romantic approach to life or their work"? A sentence like "In the discussion of English literature, the Romantic period is often regarded as finishing around the 1820s, or sometimes even earlier, although many authors of the succeeding decades were no less committed to Romantic values" also feels like original research without a citation.
  • " Byron had equal success with the first part of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage in 1812, followed by four "Turkish tales", all in the form of long poems, starting with The Giaour in 1813, drawing from his Grand Tour which had reached Ottoman Europe, and orientalizing the themes of the Gothic novel in verse. " Consider breaking up this long sentence.
  • "Several spent much time abroad"-- several what? English Romantics, I'm guessing?
  • " whose collapse" -- French Revolution shouldn't be a "who"--reword.
  • " with Shelley's The Cenci perhaps the best work produced" -- this opinion definitely needs attribution.
  • "The first major figure " ... in French Romanticism?
  • "alongside French authors, several of whom began to write in the late 1820s" -- I don't quite understand this phrase--is it worth a mention that several unnamed French playwrights started writing in this period? (It seems like any half-decade will have a few playwrights begin writing.)
  • "an important manifesto of French Romanticism" --provide a citation for the judgement "important"
  • "with his play on the life of the English poet Chatterton (1835) perhaps his best work" -- provide a citation for this judgement
  • "both for her novels and criticism and her affairs with Chopin and several others" -- the "both" here causes this sentence to read confusingly, as it reads as "both her novels and criticism" on first pass; consider rewording.
  • "Stendhal is today probably the most highly regarded French novelist of the period" --provide a citation for this judgement
  • "but he stands in a complex relation with Romanticism" --ditto
  • "his eventual recognition as Russia's greatest poet." -- the source hedges a bit, saying that he's "generally recognized"; this statement should probably be hedged likewise.
  • "Other Russian poets include" -- perhaps add "of the period", "of the movement", something to specify.
  • "Baratynsky's style was fairly classical in nature, dwelling on the models of the previous century." -- so what's his connection to Romanticism?
  • "Modern Portuguese poetry develops its character from the work of its Romantic epitome, Almeida Garrett, a very prolific writer who helped shape the genre with the masterpiece" -- provide source for both the general claim (all modern Port. poetry stems from him) as well as the superlatives.
  • "However, an early Portuguese expression of Romanticism is found already in Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, especially in his sonnets dated at the end of the 18th century." -- provide source for this judgement
  • "the greatest writer of this period is Castro Alves" -- attribute this judgement in-text as well as with the footnote.
  • "The poetry of Emily Dickinson—nearly unread in her own time—and Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick can be taken as epitomes of American Romantic literature." -- could definitely use a source for the Dickinson part. I don't claim to be an expert in Dickinson, but this isn't how I was taught her poetry in university; our featured article on her doesn't even mention the word "Romanticism", and only mentions her as a Transcendalist once, in a disputed context.
  • "In the United States, romantic Gothic literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) and Rip Van Winkle (1819), followed from 1823 onwards by the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper, with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by "noble savages", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau, exemplified by Uncas, from The Last of the Mohicans." -- Consider breaking up this long sentence.
  • "Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion " -- revise for parallelism (currently the list has adjective, adjective, verb)
  • "Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion than ever seen in neoclassical literature. America's preoccupation with freedom became a great source of motivation for Romantic writers as many were delighted in free expression and emotion without so much fear of ridicule and controversy." -- add citation for these statements, particularly the "than ever seen in neoclassical literature", which is rather absolute. -- Khazar2 (talk) 21:59, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Since this one's been a week without action, I'm closing this review and not promoting to Good Article status at this time. I'd encourage editors of this article to fill in the missing citations and renominate, however; this article is excellent in many respects, and is probably close to Good Article status already. Thanks to everybody for their work! -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:35, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry your time was wasted on this drive-by nom. I'd check that someone intends to do any work before starting a review myself. Many of the points you make relate to stuff by long-vanished editors that the recent editors are not able to ref etc - especially Romance literature etc. All good points I'm sure. Johnbod (talk) 13:02, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not a problem at all--it's a subject I enjoyed reading in detail about, and the comments can hopefully give a start to an editor at some point down the road. Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:13, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


Johnbod, I have just read, among other works, all 500 pages of Professor Andrew Rutherford's Byron: The Critical Heritage, which establishes pretty clearly that, controversial though he was, Byron was still the most popular poet in Europe of his day and long afterward. His satires are an important part of English Romanticism, whether you personally like them or not. I agree with the general statement about satire being looked down upon, but there were a few major exceptions—Thomas Love Peacock was another, though lesser, one—and I can't see how my edit is not perfectly valid. Byron is considered to be a giant of the Romantic period—even Goethe thought he was the best of his peers—as well as a master of satire. --Alan W (talk) 04:26, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

And Pushkin to an extent, and others. But in an introductory section to such a vast subject one simply can't go noting exceptions to every generalization made (and clearly phrased as such), or the whole thing would clog up. Please don't make the mistake that this is about my personal views, or yours. It was not of course Byron's satire that was the main driver of his popularity, especially abroad. Johnbod (talk) 12:58, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you're right about this not being about your personal view—or mine. I should not have expressed myself in a way as to suggest that. Let me make myself clearer. Your example of Pushkin is a good one, showing that Byron was not the only exception. But it also shows that when there are exceptions of such stature and influence, they have to be taken into account. If a description of the essence of Romanticism ignores the major productions of some of its major figures, it is to that extent inadequate. I agree that in a summary account like this, we cannot give endless examples. That is why I introduced only Byron, who may well be the major exception. Byron's satire was an integral part of his best work, and that work, especially Don Juan, was immensely popular and influential. So I don't think that even in this summary account Byron can be ignored entirely, or else we beg the question of what Romanticism really is. I think we can come to a reasonable compromise. I will revise my edit in a way that I think will emphasize that satire was indeed atypical of Romanticism, although occasionally it did appear in major Romantic literature. --Alan W (talk) 15:54, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
That's worse, if only because longer. Was Don Juan "immensely popular and influential" in fact? Influential on which other Romantics, apart from Pushkin? It was the earlier stuff, now hardly read, that was massively popular and recycled into paintings, plays & operas. The EngLit take of course now concentrates on Don Juan, but that's a different thing. Johnbod (talk) 18:22, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Don Juan was immensely popular and influential, even while many condemned it as obscene and blasphemous. "When Don Juan Cantos III, IV and V were published, we are told [by Samuel Smiles, writing in 1891], the street outside Murray's premises was filled with booksellers' messengers, while 'parcels of books were given out of the window in answer to their obstreperous demands.'" (Rutherford, p. 10.) "His powers grew to the last: the two last cantos of Don Juan ... were perhaps the best written of any of that poem." (Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges writing in 1824, just after Byron's death.) And Egerton Brydges again: "There are parts in [Don Juan] which are among the most brilliant proofs of his genius; and, what is even yet better, there are parts which throw a blaze of light upon the knowledge of human life...." Swinburne, himself a poet of no mean accomplishments, writing in 1866: "It would be a waste of words and time to enlarge at all upon the excellence of the pure comedy of Don Juan.... [Though some critics saw a falling off in the last cantos,] these cries were only raised because in these latter cantos a certain due amount of satire fell upon the false and corrupt parts of English character.... [Don Juan was] his masterpiece..." Ruskin, in 1880, commends the satire on war in Canto III, showing that of all Romantic poets, Byron was "the widest-hearted." So, no, it is not just the "EngLit take" that now "concentrates on Don Juan." It enjoyed its own popularity, and it had its influence on other literary figures of note.
Yes, the early stuff was what "was recycled into paintings, plays & operas"—but is this article on Romanticism only about the influence of the literature on paintings, plays & operas? Perhaps the satire's influence was mostly on other poets. But that doesn't exclude it from being a strain of Romanticism that made its impression in its age. It may be only a minor strain (and yet an integral part of some of the greatest of English Romantic poetry), but I contend we cannot claim that satire is not some part, if only a subordinate part on occasion, of Romanticism when we are defining it. And I wouldn't dismiss influence on Pushkin so quickly, since Pushkin is often considered to be Russia's greatest poet. In light of all this, not only do I not think my modification is not too long, it might not be long enough, except that this is not the place to expand the idea at length.
By introducing Byron as I do, in such a qualified manner, I think I strengthen the contention that satire was in general not considered worthy of serious attention, since this demonstrates that this was the case despite a major example of a Romantic satirist. Further, the statement about satire as given before I edited it is far too simple; it seems to contradict what is in fact asserted earlier in this article: "Unsurprisingly, given its rejection on principle of rules, Romanticism is not easily defined, and the period typically called Romantic varies greatly between different countries and different artistic media or areas of thought." That there should be a major satirist among the great Romantics actually demonstrates the complexity of Romanticism, and helps to show why it is not so easily defined. --Alan W (talk) 23:27, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I note that most of your quotes come from well after the Romantic period proper, & I repeat "Influential on which other Romantics, apart from Pushkin?". You were the one who raised "immensely popular and influential". Samuel Smiles is not entirely a WP:RS, and was at school in Scotland at the time. Johnbod (talk) 01:50, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Smiles might not be a reliable source as a critic of the poetry, but he was just reporting a fact. This is accepted by Andrew Rutherford, who is a reliable source. Byron's influence stretched over many years, so of course it wasn't confined to his contemporaries. But both Shelley and Leigh Hunt immensely admired the poem, along with much else in his writing. If no one wrote anything quite like Don Juan, perhaps that is because it is unique, almost impossible to imitate successfully. But it was still widely read, and admired (if also vilified), and a product of Romanticism.
Byron was unquestionably a Romantic. He also succeeded in incorporating satire into some of his best works. Harold Bloom writes that even when attempting to write a traditional satire in the manner of Pope, he bore "the burden of a Romantic Imagination he could neither trust nor eradicate." This alone should give us reason to avoid making such a blanket assertion as that of saying that "Romanticism tended to regard satire as something unworthy of serious attention...." This needs qualification when one of the greatest Romantics successfully wrote satire. It was satire done his own way, freed of Augustan rules (and this article also notes freedom from rules as a characteristic of Romanticism).
Also, you have not addressed a major point I made. This article rightly notes the complexity of Romanticism and the difficulty of defining it. All the more reason to note at least in brief that there were exceptions to Romanticism's general rejection of satire, including one exception so important that it cannot be ignored.
All right, I have thought of another solution. I still firmly believe that we cannot entirely write satire out of the account of Romanticism. But since you seem to think that what I have added is too prominent, or something like that, in that place in the article, I will further revise the passage so that my point is added to the footnote. --Alan W (talk) 03:12, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm fine with that. No one is denying Byron was a Romantic, which is why he is mentioned so often below. Johnbod (talk) 05:12, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Then we have come to an agreement. You know, there are a lot of good things in this article. I see that it was nominated for promotion to GA status, and it might not be far from that level. Yet much work remains to be done. This is an immense and formidable topic. The question of satire and other forms and aspects of literature not usually considered Romantic has led me to muse further on all of this. I'm glad that the article mentions Lovejoy's seminal essay, which I have just reread. Lovejoy offers a sobering reminder of how many different kinds of things have been shoehorned into what has been termed "Romantic" over the years, some of them not very compatible. He reminds us too of how complex the literature is (and then there are the subtopics of music and the visual arts, the criticism and history of which I am much less familiar with). So many works we think of as Romantic, though they are to an extent, also incorporate elements of what are typically thought of as belonging to other "schools." Scott, for example, was a Romantic, but his novels also contain elements of "Realism" and "Rationalism." There are also some statements here that make me uncomfortable. Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter a "melodrama"? I don't think so. From Henry James onward, the book has been praised for its psychological depth, not very consistent with what one usually thinks of as melodrama. I may return to work on some of these things eventually, though I don't have the time now. There are a few little tweaks, however, that I might make sooner. An article of this importance deserves to look a lot cleaner from an editorial standpoint. --Alan W (talk) 14:09, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Sub-topics?? I bridle at that I must say. The article used to be just awful early 2012 version (& it gets about 10k views a day), & with others I did the introductory sections, art, English (not American much), French & German lit, & a few other bits & touches like "Romanticism outside the arts", while Jerome Kohl did music. I know nothing about the Italian, Spanish & Portuguese lit sections, & did little on the American, so these are mostly the old versions. The article is of necessity very summary (and art really needs more) but there is plenty of room for improvement in many areas, though the tendency to sprawl needs to be watched carefully. No doubt smaller literatures need somethings said too - Polish, Scandinavian etc. Many of the articles linked to are also very poor, as usual, but extended expansion should go there. We don't cover periods or "topics" at all well in Humanities articles. Actually Lermontov may be another influenced by Don Juan, but I wouldn't know. Johnbod (talk) 16:07, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

"even if they had to make do with Wales as a setting" ?[edit]

This seem rather opinionated, as well as derogatory to Wales. MFlet1 (talk) 08:09, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Not really - British paintings of the period are full of attempts to ramp Welsh hills or mountains up as the Alps or Apennines, with "fearful gulphs" and the like, but as we know they aren't like that, even in Snowdonia. This for example. For long periods until 1815 continental travel was difficult or impossible. There is more detail in Welsh art. Johnbod (talk) 12:27, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps it can be rewritten in the manner Johnbod suggests. Even if they had to make do.... can be construed as pointy, though it is rather humorous. JNW (talk) 12:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

American literature[edit]

The section on American literary Romanticism is inadequate. For example, Bryant is only present in a throw-away line. If expanding it would overburden the article, then 'tis time for a separate article. Kdammers (talk) 08:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Citation needed in Introduction was removed because a cite to the link of Romanticism and nationalism is later provided in the Context section of article. I never understand why people want to load up an introduction with cites when in most cases the introduction is summarizing work that will be extensively detailed and footnoted later. But then, I made an addition to the Introduction and I footnoted it, so what do I know. AB

Tvbarn (talk) 12:09, 20 November 2014 (UTC)


In a recent edit summary, User:Johnbod asked "Transvaluation? What's that?" I agree with the deletion of the sentence carrying the phrase transvaluation of values, but it is a legitimate phrase (Umwertung aller Werte) originating with Friedrich Nietzsche. Removal of the sentence is justified by the fact that it did not have sufficient context, as the phrase was being used by a later writer who evidently was assuming his readers to have considerable familiarity with Nietzsche.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:35, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, ok thanks. I never got very far with Nietsche. In English it carries a rather inelegant repetition &, as you say, needs context. There's already a lot of Berlin in the article, added by me, some might say too much. Johnbod (talk) 22:22, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, well, with Nietzsche most people are doing well if they can just spell his name correctly ;-) Translated philosophical terms are often very awkward in ordinary English prose, and must always be given ample context. Perhaps the most egregious example is "sublation", where even the German original word, "Aufhebung" is to some degree a self-contradiction. Worse, different philosophers often use the same word in different senses, requiring that different translations be used depending on who the author is. If that phrase had been used in a section that had already amply explained what Nietzsche intended by the word, or was being directed to an audience of professional philosophers, then it might have been an acceptable usage, but not as it stood.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:38, 4 January 2015 (UTC)