Dryden and Pope in the Early 19th Century
It is still widely believed that in 1798 English literature became 'romantic' overnight. This is not so, of course: the Lyrical Ballads appeared almost unnoticed, and for many more years the prevailing patterns of taste seemed hardly challenged by any innovations. Indeed it was only from the 1830s onwards that 'romanticism' became the new othrodoxy. Dr Amarasinghe's book studies the main plank in the platform of the old attitudes: respect for the poetry of Dryden and Pope and the associated values. He shows a curious process: a change from convinced or idolatrous endorsement of Augustan verse and thought, via the perception in Dryden and Pope of 'romantic' elements, to their eventual dismissal as 'classics of our prose'. Incidentally, one sees how other poets, especially the Elizabethan dramatists, were revalued in the process. This neatly conducted argument is a model survey of how changes in literary taste are brought about. This particular change, from the 'line of wit' through the 'fairy way of writing' to full-blown romanticism was one of the most momentous in English literary history and this book helps the reader to see it more clearly and accurately.
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admiration anti-Augustan appeared attitude Augustan age Augustan poetry Augustan tradition Blackwood's Magazine Bowles Bowles's Pope Campbell Campbell's claimed Coleridge's contemporary controversy Cowper Crabb Robinson Crabbe's criticism of Augustan derived described Dryden and Pope Dryden's poetry Dunciad early nineteenth century Edinburgh Review edition of Dryden edition of Pope editor eighteenth century Elizabethan Eloisa Eloisa to Abelard English poetry Essay on Pope example felt Francis Jeffrey genius Gifford Goldsmith Hazlitt heroic couplet Hunt's Ibid imitation influence interest Isaac D'Israeli J. S. Mill Jane Austen Jeffrey Jeffrey's Johnson Joseph Warton Keats language later Leigh Hunt Letters literature Lockhart Lord Byron Lyrical merits Milton moral nature noted observed passage passion Peacock periodical criticism poem poetical Pope Pope's poetry popular praise Quarterly Review Quincey readers reading public regarded Regency revival Rogers Romantic poets Roscoe's satire Scott Shakespeare Shelley Southey Southey's style sublime tendencies tion verse Waller and Glover Warton's Essay writer wrote