Joseph Mallord William Turner, Wreckers—Coast of Northumberland, with a Steam-Boat Assisting a Ship off Shore (1833–34). Oil on canvas. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

Romanticism is like a phantom,” Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky complained in 1824. “Many people believe in it; there is a conviction that it exists, but where are its distinctive features; how can it be defined?” Two decades later, Baudelaire identified only its features: Romanticism is found “neither in choice of subjects nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” The question of definition requires the wider context, the political, scientific, and perceptual revolutions of John Stuart Mill’s “Age of Change.”...

 
Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now