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Prose during the
Romantic Period
Name of the Teacher:
Mrs. Madhura Date.
TYBA
English ,
Paper VII
Prose of the Romantic Age
Fictional
prose
Novels
Non
fictional
prose
Essays Criticism
Essays
 Major essayists
 Charles Lamb
 William Hazlit
 Thomas De Quincey
 General characteristics of prose of the
period:
 Departure from the too much emphasis on
reason and intellect
 Interest in nature
 Humanitarianism
 Interest in past , primitive and medieval
 Ideas of revolution
Charles Lamb
 In his Essays of Elia (1823) and Last
Essays (1833), in which is revealed his own
personality, he talks intimately to the
readers about himself, his quaint whims
and experiences, and the cheerful and
heroic struggle which he made against
misfortunes.
 Lamb belongs to the category of intimate and self-
revealing essayists. He writes always in a gentle,
humorous way about the sentiments and trifles of
everyday. The sentimental, smiling figure of ‘Elia’ in his
essays is only a cloak with which Lamb hides himself
from the world. Though in his essays he plays with
trivialities, as Walter Pater has said, “We know that
beneath this blithe surface there is something of the
domestic horror, of the beautiful heroism, and
devotedness too, of the old Greek tragedy.”
 Lamb is the most lovable of all English essayists, and in his
hand the Essay reached its perfection. His essays are true to
Johnson’s definition; ‘a loose sally of the mind.’ Though his
essays are all criticisms or appreciations of the life of his age
and literature, they are all intensely personal. They,
therefore, give us an excellent picture of Lamb and of
humanity. Though he often starts with some purely personal
mood or experience he gently leads the reader to see life
as he saw it, without ever being vain or self-assertive. It is this
wonderful combination of personal and universal interest
together with his rare old style and quaint humour, which
have given his essays his perennial charm, and earned for
him the covetable title of “The Prince among English
Essayists”.
William Hazlit
 Hazlitt wrote many volumes of essays, of
which the most effective is The Spirit of the
Age (1825) in which he gives critical
portraits of a number of his famous
contemporaries.
 The style of Hazlitt has force, brightness and
individuality. Here and there we find passages of
solemn and stately music. It is the reflection of
Hazlitt’s personality—outspoken, straightforward and
frank. As he had read widely, and his mind was filled
with great store of learning, his writings are
interspersed with sentences and phrases from other
writers and there are also echoes of their style.
Above all, it vibrates with the vitality and force of his
personality, and so never lapses into dullness.
Thomas de Quincey
 De Quincey is famous as the writer of
‘impassioned prose’
 The specialty of his style consists in describing
incidents of purely personal interest in
language suited to their magnitude as they
appear in the eyes of the writer. The reader is
irresistibly attracted by the splendour of his
style which combines the best elements of
prose and poetry
 De Quincey was a highly intellectual writer and his
interests were very wide. Mostly he wrote in the
form of articles for journals and he dealt with all
sorts of subjects—about himself and his friends, life
in general, art, literature, philosophy and religion.
Of his autobiographical sketches the best-known is
his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, in which
he has given us, in a most interesting manner,
glimpses of his own life under the influence of
opium.
Criticism/ critical writing during the
age
 Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads
 Coleridge's Biographia Literaria
 https://www.litcharts.com/lit/preface-to-the-
lyrical-ballads/summary-and-analysis
 https://www.supersummary.com/biographia-
literaria/summary/
Coleridge’s ideas about
imagination and fancy
 Imagination and fancy are two different things
 ‘Fancy’ combines what man perceives into
beautiful shapes or form, but it does not have
ability to fuse and unify like imagination.
 Fancy is not a creative agent of creation of a
poem, except that it provides the ground or basis
for imagination to undertake its creative power.
 Coleridge called ‘Fancy’ the drapery of poetic
genius , while ‘Imagination’ was its very soul.
 Coleridge further divides ‘Imagination’ into
‘primary’ and ‘secondary’.
 Primary imagination --- the living power and
prime agent of all human perception.
 Primary imagination assists the secondary
imagination in the act of creation.
 The primary imagination is universal, in the
sense that all human beings possess it. The
secondary imagination is peculiar to , and is
possessed only by the artist.
 The secondary imagination is more
active– has esemplastic power.
Novels during the Romantic Age
 Deeper reading of life
 Marked transition into the modern.
Major novelists
 Maria Edgeworth
 Jane Austen
 Sir Walter Scott
Maria Edgeworth
 Children’s literature --- stories which are richer
in human interest
 Also a novelist of local colour , especially in
her Irish novels
 Castle Rackrent ----first long story ----
influenced latter novelists.
 The Absentee and Ormond--- two Irish novels
 Tales of Fashionable Life
Jane Austen
 Jane Austen adopted Fielding’s dramatic
structure and comic treatment, and after
her first attempts at fiction, achieved a
high form of intellectual realism.
 Humour – compared to Shakespeare
 Sense and Sensibility (at first named as
‘Elinor and Marianne’)– the first novel .
Jane Austen’s novels
 Sense and Sensibility
 Pride and Prejudice -- the masterpiece
written by Jane Austen
 Mansfield Park ----
 Emma
 Northanger Abbey
 Persuasion
Walter Scott
 Waverly novels
 26 historical romances ---- also called as Waverly novels.
 Waverly
 Ivanhoe
 The Monastry
 The Abbot
 Kenilworth
 ------- historical novels ---
 Interest in past, medievalism
Thomas Love Peacock
 Headlong Hall
 Melincourt
 Nightmare Abbey
References
 https://englishsummary.com/romantic-prose-
features/
 https://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16
/prose-writers-of-the-romantic-age/
 https://literariness.org/2020/12/11/romantic-
literary-criticism/
 https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-
Waverley-Novels
Thank you !

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Prose during Romantic Age

  • 1. Prose during the Romantic Period Name of the Teacher: Mrs. Madhura Date. TYBA English , Paper VII
  • 2. Prose of the Romantic Age Fictional prose Novels Non fictional prose Essays Criticism
  • 3. Essays  Major essayists  Charles Lamb  William Hazlit  Thomas De Quincey
  • 4.  General characteristics of prose of the period:  Departure from the too much emphasis on reason and intellect  Interest in nature  Humanitarianism  Interest in past , primitive and medieval  Ideas of revolution
  • 5. Charles Lamb  In his Essays of Elia (1823) and Last Essays (1833), in which is revealed his own personality, he talks intimately to the readers about himself, his quaint whims and experiences, and the cheerful and heroic struggle which he made against misfortunes.
  • 6.  Lamb belongs to the category of intimate and self- revealing essayists. He writes always in a gentle, humorous way about the sentiments and trifles of everyday. The sentimental, smiling figure of ‘Elia’ in his essays is only a cloak with which Lamb hides himself from the world. Though in his essays he plays with trivialities, as Walter Pater has said, “We know that beneath this blithe surface there is something of the domestic horror, of the beautiful heroism, and devotedness too, of the old Greek tragedy.”
  • 7.  Lamb is the most lovable of all English essayists, and in his hand the Essay reached its perfection. His essays are true to Johnson’s definition; ‘a loose sally of the mind.’ Though his essays are all criticisms or appreciations of the life of his age and literature, they are all intensely personal. They, therefore, give us an excellent picture of Lamb and of humanity. Though he often starts with some purely personal mood or experience he gently leads the reader to see life as he saw it, without ever being vain or self-assertive. It is this wonderful combination of personal and universal interest together with his rare old style and quaint humour, which have given his essays his perennial charm, and earned for him the covetable title of “The Prince among English Essayists”.
  • 8. William Hazlit  Hazlitt wrote many volumes of essays, of which the most effective is The Spirit of the Age (1825) in which he gives critical portraits of a number of his famous contemporaries.
  • 9.  The style of Hazlitt has force, brightness and individuality. Here and there we find passages of solemn and stately music. It is the reflection of Hazlitt’s personality—outspoken, straightforward and frank. As he had read widely, and his mind was filled with great store of learning, his writings are interspersed with sentences and phrases from other writers and there are also echoes of their style. Above all, it vibrates with the vitality and force of his personality, and so never lapses into dullness.
  • 10. Thomas de Quincey  De Quincey is famous as the writer of ‘impassioned prose’  The specialty of his style consists in describing incidents of purely personal interest in language suited to their magnitude as they appear in the eyes of the writer. The reader is irresistibly attracted by the splendour of his style which combines the best elements of prose and poetry
  • 11.  De Quincey was a highly intellectual writer and his interests were very wide. Mostly he wrote in the form of articles for journals and he dealt with all sorts of subjects—about himself and his friends, life in general, art, literature, philosophy and religion. Of his autobiographical sketches the best-known is his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, in which he has given us, in a most interesting manner, glimpses of his own life under the influence of opium.
  • 12. Criticism/ critical writing during the age  Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads  Coleridge's Biographia Literaria  https://www.litcharts.com/lit/preface-to-the- lyrical-ballads/summary-and-analysis  https://www.supersummary.com/biographia- literaria/summary/
  • 13. Coleridge’s ideas about imagination and fancy  Imagination and fancy are two different things  ‘Fancy’ combines what man perceives into beautiful shapes or form, but it does not have ability to fuse and unify like imagination.  Fancy is not a creative agent of creation of a poem, except that it provides the ground or basis for imagination to undertake its creative power.  Coleridge called ‘Fancy’ the drapery of poetic genius , while ‘Imagination’ was its very soul.
  • 14.  Coleridge further divides ‘Imagination’ into ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’.  Primary imagination --- the living power and prime agent of all human perception.  Primary imagination assists the secondary imagination in the act of creation.  The primary imagination is universal, in the sense that all human beings possess it. The secondary imagination is peculiar to , and is possessed only by the artist.
  • 15.  The secondary imagination is more active– has esemplastic power.
  • 16. Novels during the Romantic Age  Deeper reading of life  Marked transition into the modern.
  • 17. Major novelists  Maria Edgeworth  Jane Austen  Sir Walter Scott
  • 18. Maria Edgeworth  Children’s literature --- stories which are richer in human interest  Also a novelist of local colour , especially in her Irish novels  Castle Rackrent ----first long story ---- influenced latter novelists.  The Absentee and Ormond--- two Irish novels  Tales of Fashionable Life
  • 19. Jane Austen  Jane Austen adopted Fielding’s dramatic structure and comic treatment, and after her first attempts at fiction, achieved a high form of intellectual realism.  Humour – compared to Shakespeare  Sense and Sensibility (at first named as ‘Elinor and Marianne’)– the first novel .
  • 20. Jane Austen’s novels  Sense and Sensibility  Pride and Prejudice -- the masterpiece written by Jane Austen  Mansfield Park ----  Emma  Northanger Abbey  Persuasion
  • 21. Walter Scott  Waverly novels  26 historical romances ---- also called as Waverly novels.  Waverly  Ivanhoe  The Monastry  The Abbot  Kenilworth  ------- historical novels ---  Interest in past, medievalism
  • 22. Thomas Love Peacock  Headlong Hall  Melincourt  Nightmare Abbey
  • 23. References  https://englishsummary.com/romantic-prose- features/  https://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16 /prose-writers-of-the-romantic-age/  https://literariness.org/2020/12/11/romantic- literary-criticism/  https://www.britannica.com/topic/The- Waverley-Novels