Margaret Drabble • Margaret Drabble defined Romanticism as ‘…an extreme assertion of the self and the value of individual experience… The stylistic keynote… is intensity, and its watchword is “Imagination.”
Coleridge • The poet’s heart and intellect should be…intimately combined and unified with the great appearances of nature.
‘Romanticism’ 1991 • The word Romanticism has come to be used in a bewildering variety of ways, as a term of abuse or praise, as a chronological, aesthetic or psychological category, to describe erotic emotions or purely cerebral processes. As none of these forms of usage is indefensible, and all may be traced back to the early Nineteenth Century, those who have attempted to establish a precise definition have often given up despair.
‘Romanticism’: David Stevens Cambridge University Press 2009 • Emotions, sometimes in extreme passionate form, were valued highly by Romantics. • Romantics frequently focused on and admired the state of innocence, and the accompanying senses of wonder, alienation, or even terror and madness. • The Romantic period was characterized by intense spiritual confusion and seeking.
David Blayney Brown (from Romanticism, 2001) • Romanticism was born in opposition and sorrow, in social or national crisis and in individual trauma. Often associated with the revolutionary spirit of the time, it was really the consequence of its failure –a compensating revolution in hearts and minds, an alternative empire of the imagination
Ian Johnston • It (romanticism) distrusts any systematic knowledge, any inherited systems of belief, anything not generated by one’s own imagination. It rejects any sense of rational limits to what the human imagination might know. The power of the imagination is potentially infinite.