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Extending from about 1789 until 1837, the romantic age stressed emotion over reason. One objective of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to destroy an older tradition that had come to seem artificial, and to assert the liberty, spirit, and heartfelt unity of the human race. To many writers of the romantic age this objective seemed equally appropriate in the field of English letters. In addition, the romantic age in English literature was characterized by the subordination of reason to intuition and passion, the cult of nature much as the word is now understood and not as Pope understood it, the primacy of the individual will over social norms of behavior, the preference for the illusion of immediate experience as opposed to generalized and typical experience, and the interest in what is distant in time and place. The A Poets Romantic

The first important expression of romanticism was in the Lyrical Ballads (1798) of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, young men who were aroused to creative activity by the French Revolution; later they became disillusioned with what followed it. The poems of Wordsworth in this volume treat ordinary subjects with a new freshness that imparts a certain radiance to them. On the other hand, Coleridge's main contribution, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, masterfully creates an illusion of reality in relating strange, exotic, or obviously unreal events. These two directions characterize most of the later works of the two poets. For Wordsworth the great theme remained the world of simple, natural things, in the countryside or among people. He reproduced this world with so close and understanding an eye as to add a hitherto unperceived glory to it. His representation of human nature is similarly simple but revealing. It is at its best, as in Tintern Abbey or Ode on Intimations of Immortality, when he speaks of the mystical kinship between quiet nature and the human soul and of the spiritual refreshment yielded by humanity's sympathetic contact with the rest of God's creation. Not only is the immediacy of experience in the poetry of Wordsworth opposed to neoclassical notions, but also his poetic style constitutes a rejection of the immediate poetic past. Wordsworth condemned the idea of a specifically poetic language, such as that of neoclassical poetry, and he strove instead for what he considered the more powerful effects of ordinary, everyday language. Coleridge's natural bent, on the other hand, was toward the strange, the exotic, and the mysterious. Unlike Wordsworth, he wrote few poems, and these during a very brief period. In such poems as Kubla Khan and Christabel, the beauties and horrors of the far distant in time or place are evoked in a style that is neither neoclassical nor simple in Wordsworth's fashion, but that, instead, recalls the splendor and extravagance of the Elizabethans. At the same time Coleridge achieved an immediacy of sensation that suggests the natural although hidden affinity between him and Wordsworth, and their common rejection of the 18th-century spirit in poetry. Another poet who found delight in the far distant in time was Sir Walter Scott, who, after evincing an early interest in the ancient ballads of his native Scotland, wrote a series of

narrative poems glorifying the active virtues of the simple, vigorous life and culture of his land in the Middle Ages, before it had been affected by modern civilization. In such of these poems as The Lady of the Lake (1810) he employed a style of little originality. His work, however, was the more popular among his immediate contemporaries for that very reason, long before the full stature of Wordsworth's more impressive poetry was recognized. Some of Scott's Waverley novels, a series of historical works, have given him a more permanent reputation as a writer of prose. A second generation of romantic poets remained revolutionary in some sense throughout their poetic careers, unlike Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Scott. George Gordon, Lord Byron, is one of the exemplars of a personality in tragic revolt against society. As in his stormy personal life, so also in such poems as Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) and Don Juan (1819-1824), this generous but egotistical aristocrat revealed with uneven pathos or with striking irony and cynicism the vagrant feelings and actions of great souls caught in a petty world. Byron's satirical spirit and strong sense of social realism kept him apart from other English romantics; unlike the rest, he proclaimed, for example, a high regard for Pope, whom he sometimes imitated. The other great poet-revolutionary of the time, Percy Bysshe Shelley, seems much closer to the grandly serious spirit of the other romantics. His most thoughtful poetry expresses his two main ideas, that the external tyranny of rulers, customs, or superstitions is the main enemy, and that inherent human goodness will, sooner or later, eliminate evil from the world and usher in an eternal reign of transcendant love. It is, perhaps, in Prometheus Unbound (1820) that these ideas are most completely expressed, although Shelley's more obvious poetic qualitiesthe natural correspondence of metrical structure to mood, the power of shaping effective abstractions, and his ethereal idealismcan be studied in a whole range of poems, from Ode to the West Wind and To a Skylark to the elegy Adonais, written for John Keats, the youngest of the great romantics. More than that of any of the other romantics, Keats's poetry is a response to sensuous impressions. He found neither the time nor the inclination to elaborate a complete moral or social philosophy in his poetry. In such poems as The Eve of St. Agnes,Ode on a Grecian Urn, and Ode to a Nightingale, all written about 1819, he showed an unrivaled awareness of immediate sensation and an unequaled ability to reproduce it. Between 1818 and 1821, during the last few years of his short life, this spiritually robust, active, and wonderfully receptive writer produced all his poetry. His work had a more profound influence than that of any other romantic in widening the sensuous realm of poetry for the Victorians later in the century. Romantic B Prose Certain romantic prose parallels the poetry of the period in a number of ways. The evolution of fundamentally new critical principles in literature is the main achievement of Coleridge's Biographia literaria (1817), but like Charles Lamb (Specimens of English Dramatic Poets, 1808) and William Hazlitt (Characters of Shakespeare's Plays, 1817),

Coleridge also wrote a large amount of practical criticism, much of which helped to elevate the reputations of Renaissance dramatists and poets neglected in the 18th century. Lamb is famous also for his occasional essays, the Essays of Elia (1823, 1833). An influential romantic experiment in the achievement of a rich poetic quality in prose is the phantasmagoric, impassioned autobiography of Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821). V II THE VICTORIAN ERA

The Victorian era, from the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837 until her death in 1901, was an era of several unsettling social developments that forced writers more than ever before to take positions on the immediate issues animating the rest of society. Thus, although romantic forms of expression in poetry and prose continued to dominate English literature throughout much of the century, the attention of many writers was directed, sometimes passionately, to such issues as the growth of English democracy, the education of the masses, the progress of industrial enterprise and the consequent rise of a materialistic philosophy, and the plight of the newly industrialized worker. In addition, the unsettling of religious belief by new advances in science, particularly the theory of evolution and the historical study of the Bible, drew other writers away from the immemorial subjects of literature into considerations of problems of faith and truth. Nonfic A tion The historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, in his History of England (5 volumes, 18481861) and even more in his Critical and Historical Essays (1843), expressed the complacency of the English middle classes over their new prosperity and growing political power. The clarity and balance of Macaulay's style, which reflects his practical familiarity with parliamentary debate, stands in contrast to the sensitivity and beauty of the prose of John Henry Newman. Newman's main effort, unlike Macaulay's, was to draw people away from the materialism and skepticism of the age back to a purified Christian faith. His most famous work, Apologia pro vita sua (Apology for His Life, 1864), describes with psychological subtlety and charm the basis of his religious opinions and the reasons for his change from the Anglican to the Roman Catholic church. Similarly alienated by the materialism and commercialism of the period, Thomas Carlyle, another of the great Victorians, advanced a heroic philosophy of work, courage, and the cultivation of the godlike in human beings, by means of which life might recover its true worth and nobility. This view, borrowed in part from German idealist philosophy, Carlyle expressed in a vehement, idiosyncratic style in such works as Sartor resartus (The Tailor Retailored, 1833-1834) and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). Other answers to social problems were presented by two fine Victorian prose writers of a different stamp. The social criticism of the art critic John Ruskin looked to the curing of the ills of industrial society and capitalism as the only path to beauty and vitality in the national

life. The escape from social problems into aesthetic hedonism was the contribution of the Oxford scholar Walter Pater. Po B etry The three notable poets of the Victorian Age became similarly absorbed in social issues. Beginning as a poet of pure romantic escapism, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, soon moved on to problems of religious faith, social change, and political power, as in Locksley Hall, the elegy In Memoriam (1850), and Idylls of the King (1859-1885). All the characteristic moods of his poetry, from brooding splendor to lyrical sweetness, are expressed with smooth technical mastery. His style, as well as his peculiarly English conservatism, stands in some contrast to the intellectuality and bracing harshness of the poetry of Robert Browning. Browning's most important short poems are collected in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1841-1846) and Men and Women (1855). Matthew Arnold, the third of these mid-Victorian poets, stands apart from them as a more subtle and balanced thinker; his literary criticism (Essays in Criticism, 1865, 1888) is the most remarkable written in Victorian times. His poetry displays a sorrowful, disillusioned pessimism over the human plight in rapidly changing times (for example, Dover Beach, 1867), a pessimism countered, however, by a strong sense of duty. Among a number of lesser poets, Algernon Charles Swinburne showed an escapist aestheticism, somewhat similar to Pater's, in sensuous verse rich in verbal music but somewhat diffuse and pallid in its expression of emotion. The poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the poet, artist, and socialist reformer William Morris were associated with the PreRaphaelite movement, the adherents of which hoped to inaugurate a new period of honest craft and spiritual truth in property and painting. Despite the otherworldly or archaic character of their romantic poetry, Morris, at least, found a social purpose in his designs for household objects, which profoundly influenced contemporary taste. The C Novel Victorian

The novel gradually became the dominant form in literature during the Victorian Age. A fairly constant accompaniment of this development was the yielding of romanticism to literary realism, the accurate observation of individual problems and social relationships. The close observation of a restricted social milieu in the novels of Jane Austen early in the century (Pride and Prejudice, 1813; Emma, 1816) had been a harbinger of what was to come. The romantic historical novels of Sir Walter Scott, about the same time (Ivanhoe, 1819), typified, however, the spirit against which the realists later were to react. It was only in the Victorian novelists Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray that the new spirit of realism came to the fore. Dickens's novels of contemporary life (Oliver Twist, 1838; David Copperfield, 1849-1850; Great Expectations, 1861; Our Mutual Friend, 1865) exhibit an astonishing ability to create living characters; his graphic exposures of social evils and his powers of caricature and humor have won him a vast readership. Thackeray, on the other hand, indulged less in the sentimentality sometimes found in Dickens's works. He was also capable of greater subtlety of characterization, as his Vanity Fair (1847-1848) shows.

Nevertheless, the restriction of concern in Thackeray's novels to middle- and upper-class life, and his lesser creative power, render him second to Dickens in many readers' minds. Other important figures in the mainstream of the Victorian novel were notable for a variety of reasons. Anthony Trollope was distinguished for his gently ironic surveys of English ecclesiastical and political circles; Emily Bront, for her penetrating study of passionate character; George Eliot, for her responsible idealism; George Meredith, for a sophisticated, detached, and ironical view of human nature; and Thomas Hardy, for a profoundly pessimistic sense of human subjection to fate and circumstance. A second and younger group of novelists, many of whom continued their important work into the 20th century, displayed two new tendencies. Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad tried in various ways to restore the spirit of romance to the novel, in part by a choice of exotic locale, in part by articulating their themes through plots of adventure and action. Kipling attained fame also for his verse and for his mastery of the single, concentrated effect in the short story. Another tendency, in a sense an intensification of realism, was common to Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, and H. G. Wells. These novelists attempted to represent the life of their time with great accuracy and in a critical, partly propagandistic spirit. Wells's novels, for example, often seem to be sociological investigations of the ills of modern civilization rather than self-contained stories. 19th-Century D Drama The same spirit of social criticism inspired the plays of the Irish-born George Bernard Shaw, who did more than anyone else to awaken the drama from its 19th-century somnolence. In a series of powerful plays that made use of the latest economic and sociological theories, he exposed with enormous satirical skill the sickness and fatuities of individuals and societies in England and the rest of the modern world. Man and Superman (1903), Androcles and the Lion (1913), Heartbreak House (1919), and Back to Methuselah (1921) are notable among his works. His final prescription for a cure, a philosophy of creative evolution by which human beings should in time surpass the biological limit of species, showed him going beyond the limits of sociological realism into visionary writing.

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827) William Blake I INTRODUCTION William Blake (1757-1827), English poet, painter, and engraver, who created an unusual form of illustrated verse; his poetry, inspired by mystical vision, is among the most original, lyric, and prophetic in the language. Blake, the son of a hosier (stocking-maker), was born November 28, 1757, in London, where he lived most of his life. Largely self-taught, he was, however, widely read, and his poetry

shows the influence of the German mystic Jakob Boehme, for example, and of Swedenborgianism (see Swedenborg, Emanuel). As a child, Blake wanted to become a painter. He was sent to drawing school and at the age of 14 was apprenticed to James Basire, an engraver. The young Blake had to draw monuments in the old churches of London, a task he thoroughly enjoyed. After his seven-year apprenticeship was over, Blake studied briefly at the Royal Academy, but he rebelled against the aesthetic doctrines of its president, Sir Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds was a neoclassicist who took a very academic approach to the study of art. Blake preferred to draw from his imagination. At the Royal Academy Blake did, however, establish friendships with such artists as John Flaxman and Henry Fuseli, whose work may have influenced him. In 1784 Blake married Catherine Boucher, the daughter of a gardener, who proved a devoted wife. The Blakes set up a print shop; although it failed after a few years, for the rest of his life Blake eked out a living as an engraver and illustrator. His wife helped him print the illuminated poetry for which he is remembered today. II EARLY POETRY Blake began writing poetry at the age of 12, and his first printed work, Poetical Sketches (1783), is a collection of youthful verse. Amid its traditional, derivative elements are hints of his later innovative style and themes. As with all his poetry, this volume reached few contemporary readers. In 1789, unable to find a publisher for his Songs of Innocence, Blake and his wife engraved and printed the work at home. This was the first large work created in his novel method of illuminated printing, which combined text and decorations on a single etched plate. Blakes most popular poems have always been Songs of Innocence, and the volume displays characteristics that become more marked in Blakes later work. It is written in a lyric style of great freshness, simplicity, and directness. Here are the first verses of the Nurses Song from Songs of Innocence:

When the voices of children are heard on the green And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast And everything else is still. Then come home, my children, the Sun is gone down And the dews of night arise, Come, come, leave off play, and let us away Till the morning appears in the skies. In 1794, disillusioned by the apparent impossibility of human perfection, Blake issued Songs of Experience, employing the same lyric style, and often using the same titles and themes as

in Songs of Innocence, but perverting the sing-song rhythms so that the verses seem sinister and resonant with a darker meaning. Here is the Nurses Song from Songs of Experience:

When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisprings are in the dale, The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind, My face turns green and pale. Then come home my children, the Sun is gone down, And the dews of the night arise; Your spring & your day are wasted in play, And your winter and night in disguise. Both series of poems take on deeper resonances when read in conjunction. Innocence and Experience, the two contrary states of the human soul, are contrasted in such companion pieces as The Lamb and The Tyger. Blakes subsequent poetry develops the implication that true innocence is impossible without experience, transformed by the creative force of the human imagination. III BLAKE AS ARTIST As was to be Blakes custom, he illustrated the Songs with designs that demand an imaginative reading of the complicated dialogue between word and picture. His method of illuminated printing is not completely understood. The most likely explanation is that he wrote the words and drew the pictures for each poem on a copper plate, using some liquid impervious to acid, which when applied left text and illustration in relief. Ink or a color wash was then applied, and the printed picture was finished by hand in watercolors. Blake has been called a preromantic because he rejected neoclassical literary style and modes of thought (Romanticism). His favorite tenet was that all things exist in the human imagination alone. In his graphic art, too, he shunned 18th-century conventions and felt that ideal forms should be constructed not from observations of nature but from inner visions. His style made great use of the line in repudiation of the painterly academic style. Blakes attenuated, fantastic figures refer back to the medieval tomb sculptures he copied as an apprentice. The influence of Michelangelo is evident in the radical foreshortening and exaggerated muscular form in one of his best-known illustrations, popularly known as The Ancient of Days, the frontispiece to his poem Europe, a Prophecy (1794). Much of Blakes painting was on religious subjects: illustrations for the work of John Milton, his favorite poet (although he rejected Miltons Puritanism), for John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress, and for the Bible, including 21 illustrations to the Book of Job. Among his secular illustrations were those for an edition of Thomas Grays poems and the 537 watercolors for Edward Youngs Night Thoughtsonly 43 of which were published.

IV THE PROPHETIC BOOKS In his so-called Prophetic Books, a series of longer poems written from 1789 on, Blake created a complex personal mythology and invented his own symbolic characters to reflect his social concerns. A true original in thought and expression, he declared in one of these poems, I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans. Blake was a nonconformist radical who numbered among his associates such freethinkers as political theorist Thomas Paine and writer Mary Wollstonecraft. Poems such as The French Revolution (1791), America, a Prophecy (1793), Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), and Europe, a Prophecy (1794) express his condemnation of 18th-century political and social tyranny. Theological tyranny is the subject of The Book of Urizen (1794), and the dreadful cycle set up by the mutual exploitation of the sexes is vividly described in The Mental Traveller (1803?). Among the Prophetic Books is a prose work, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), which develops Blakes idea that without Contraries is no progression. It includes the Proverbs of Hell, such as The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. In 1800 Blake moved to the seacoast town of Felpham, where he lived and worked until 1803 under the patronage of William Hayley. There he experienced profound spiritual insights that prepared him for his mature work, the great visionary epics written and etched between about 1804 and 1820. Milton (1804-08), Vala, or The Four Zoas (that is, aspects of the human soul, 1797; rewritten after 1800), and Jerusalem (1804-20) have neither traditional plot, characters, rhyme, nor meter; the rhetorical free-verse lines demand new modes of reading. They envision a new and higher kind of innocence, the human spirit triumphant over reason. V OTHER WORKS Blakes writings also include An Island in the Moon (1784), a rollicking satire on events in his early life; a collection of letters; and a notebook containing sketches and some shorter poems dating between 1793 and 1818. It was called the Rossetti Manuscript, because it was acquired in 1847 by English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, one of the first to recognize Blakes genius. Blakes final years, spent in great poverty, were cheered by the admiring friendship of a group of younger artists. He died in London, August 12, 1827, leaving uncompleted a cycle of drawings inspired by Dantes The Divine Comedy. ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796) Robert Burns I INTRODUCTION Robert Burns (1759-96), Scottish poet and writer of traditional Scottish folk songs, whose works are known and loved wherever the English language is read. II EARLY LIFE

Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, January 25, 1759. He was the eldest of seven children born to William Burness, a struggling tenant farmer, and his wife, Agnes Broun. Although poverty limited his formal education, Burns read widely in English literature and the Bible and learned to read French. He was encouraged in his self-education by his father, and his mother acquainted him with Scottish folk songs, legends, and proverbs. Arduous farm work and undernourishment in his youth permanently injured his health, leading to the rheumatic heart disease from which he eventually died. He went in 1781 to Irvine to learn flax dressing, but when the shop burned down, he returned home penniless. He had, meanwhile, composed his first poems. The poet's father died in 1784, leaving him as head of the family. He and his brother Gilbert rented Mossgiel Farm, near Mauchline, but the venture proved a failure. III FIRST VERNACULAR POEMS In 1784 Burns read the works of the Edinburgh poet Robert Fergusson. Under his influence and that of Scottish folk tradition and older Scottish poetry, he became aware of the literary possibilities of the Scottish regional dialects. During the next two years he produced most of his best-known poems, including The Cotter's Saturday Night,Hallowe'en,To a Daisy, and To a Mouse. In addition, he wrote The Jolly Beggars, a cantata chiefly in standard English, which is considered one of his masterpieces. Several of his early poems, notably Holy Willie's Prayer, satirized local ecclesiastical squabbles and attacked Calvinist theology, bringing him into conflict with the church. IV SOCIAL NOTORIETY Burns further angered church authorities by having several indiscreet love affairs. In 1785 he fell in love with Jean Armour, the daughter of a Mauchline building contractor. Jean soon became pregnant, and although Burns offered to make her his wife, her father forbade their marriage. Thereupon (1786) he prepared to immigrate to the West Indies. Before departing he arranged to issue by subscription a collection of his poetry. Published on July 31 in Kilmarnock in an edition of 600 copies, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect was an immediate success. In September Burns abandoned the West Indies plan; the same month Jean became the mother of twins. He moved in the fall of 1786 to Edinburgh, where he was lionized by fashionable society. Charmed by Burns, the literati mistakenly believed him to be an untutored bard, a Heavens-taught Plowman. He resented their condescension, and his bristling independence, blunt manner of speech, and occasional social awkwardness alienated admirers. While Burns was in Edinburgh, he successfully published a second, 3000-copy edition of Poems (1787), which earned him a considerable sum. From the proceeds he was able to tour (1787) the English border region and the Highlands and finance another winter in Edinburgh. In the meantime he had resumed his relationship with Jean Armour. The next spring she bore him another set of twins, both of whom died, and in April Burns and Armour were married. In June 1788, Burns leased a poorly equipped farm in Ellisland, but the land proved unproductive. Within a year he was appointed to a position in the Excise Service, and in November 1791 he relinquished the farm.

V LATER SONGS AND BALLADS Burns's later literary output consisted almost entirely of songs, both original compositions and adaptations of traditional Scottish ballads and folk songs. He contributed some 200 songs to Scots Musical Museum (6 volumes, 1783-1803), a project initiated by the engraver and music publisher James Johnson. Beginning in 1792 Burns wrote about 100 songs and some humorous verse for Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs, compiled by George Thomson. Among his songs in this collection are such favorites as Auld Lang Syne,Comin' Thro' the Rye,Scots Wha Hae,A Red, Red Rose,The Banks o' Doon, and John Anderson, My Jo. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, Burns became an outspoken champion of the Republican cause. His enthusiasm for liberty and social justice dismayed many of his admirers; some shunned or reviled him. After Franco-British relations began to deteriorate, he curbed his radical sympathies, and in 1794, for patriotic reasons, he joined the Dumfriesshire Volunteers. Burns died in Dumfries, July 21, 1796. A memorial edition of Burn's poems was published for the benefit of his wife and children. Its editor, the physician James Currie, a man of narrow sympathies, represented the poet as a drunkard and a reprobate, and his biased judgment did much to perpetuate an unjustly harsh and distorted conception of the poet. Burns touched with his own genius the traditional folk songs of Scotland, transmuting them into great poetry, and he immortalized its countryside and humble farm life. He was a keen and discerning satirist who reserved his sharpest barbs for sham, hypocrisy, and cruelty. His satirical verse, once little appreciated, has in recent decades been recognized widely as his finest work. He was also a master of the verse-narrative technique, as exemplified in Tam o'Shanter. Finally, his love songs, perfectly fitted to the tunes for which he wrote them, are, at their best, unsurpassed.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850) William Wordsworth William Wordsworth (1770-1850), English poet, one of the most accomplished and influential of England's romantic poets, whose theories and style created a new tradition in poetry. Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, and educated at Saint John's College, University of Cambridge. He developed a keen love of nature as a youth, and during school vacation periods he frequently visited places noted for their scenic beauty. In the summer of 1790 he took a walking tour through France and Switzerland. After receiving his degree in 1791 he returned to France, where he became an enthusiastic convert to the ideals of the French Revolution (1789-1799). His lover Annette Vallon of Orleans bore him a daughter in December 1792, shortly before his return to England. Disheartened by the outbreak of hostilities between France and Great Britain in 1793, Wordsworth nevertheless remained sympathetic to the French cause. 10

Although Wordsworth had begun to write poetry while still a schoolboy, none of his poems was published until 1793, when An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches appeared. These works, although fresh and original in content, reflect the influence of the formal style of 18thcentury English poetry. The poems received little notice, and few copies were sold. Wordsworth's income from his writings amounted to little, but his financial problems were alleviated for a time when in 1795 he received a bequest of 900 from a close friend. Thereupon he and his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, went to live in Racedown, Dorsetshire. The two had always enjoyed a warmly sympathetic relationship, and Wordsworth relied greatly on Dorothy, his devoted confidante, for encouragement in his literary endeavors. Her mental breakdown in later years was to cause him great sorrow, as did the death of his brother John. William had met the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an enthusiastic admirer of his early poetic efforts, and in 1797 he and Dorothy moved to Alfoxden, Somersetshire, near Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. The move marked the beginning of a close and enduring friendship between the poets. In the ensuing period they collaborated on a book of poems entitled Lyrical Ballads, first published in 1798. This work is generally taken to mark the beginning of the romantic movement in English poetry. Wordsworth wrote almost all the poems in the volume, including the memorable Tintern Abbey; Coleridge contributed the famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Representing a revolt against the artificial classicism of contemporary English verse, Lyrical Ballads was greeted with hostility by most leading critics of the day. In defense of his unconventional theory of poetry, Wordsworth wrote a Preface to the second edition of Ballads, which appeared in 1800 (actual date of publication, 1801). His premise was that the source of poetic truth is the direct experience of the senses. Poetry, he asserted, originates from emotion recollected in tranquillity. Rejecting the contemporary emphasis on form and an intellectual approach that drained poetic writing of strong emotion, he maintained that the scenes and events of everyday life and the speech of ordinary people were the raw material of which poetry could and should be made. Far from conciliating the critics, the Preface served only to increase their hostility. Wordsworth, however, was not discouraged, continuing to write poetry that graphically illustrated his principles. Before the publication of the Preface, Wordsworth and his sister had accompanied Coleridge to Germany in 1798 and 1799. There Wordsworth wrote several of his finest lyrical verses, the Lucy poems, and began The Prelude. This introspective account of his own development was completed in 1805 and, after substantial revision, published posthumously in 1850. Many critics rank it as Wordsworth's greatest work. Returning to England, William and his sister settled in 1799 at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Westmorland, the loveliest spot in the English Lake District. The poet Robert Southey as well as Coleridge lived nearby, and the three men became known as the Lake Poets. In 1802 Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson, a childhood friend, who is portrayed in the charming lyric She Was a Phantom of Delight. In 1807Poems in Two Volumes was published. The work contains much of Wordsworth's finest verse, notably the superb Ode: Intimations of Immortality, the autobiographical narrative Resolution and Independence, and many of his well-known sonnets. 11

In 1813 Wordsworth obtained a sinecure as distributor of stamps for Westmorland at a salary of 400 a year. In the same year he and his family and sister moved to Rydal Mount, a few kilometers from Dove Cottage, and there the poet spent the remainder of his life, except for periodic travels. Wordsworth's political and intellectual sympathies underwent a transformation after 1800. By 1810 his viewpoint was staunchly conservative. He was disillusioned by the course of events in France culminating in the rise of Napoleon; his circle of friends, including the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, also influenced him in the direction of orthodoxy. As he advanced in age, Wordsworth's poetic vision and inspiration dulled; his later, more rhetorical, moralistic poems cannot be compared to the lyrics of his youth, although a number of them are illumined by the spark of his former greatness. Between 1814 and 1822 his publications included The Excursion (1814), a continuation of The Prelude but lacking the power and beauty of that work; The White Doe of Rylstone (1815); Peter Bell (1819); and Ecclesiastical Sonnets (1822). Yarrow Revisited and Other Poems appeared in 1835, but after that Wordsworth wrote little more. Among his other poetic works are The Borderers: A Tragedy (1796; published 1842), Michael (1800), The Recluse (1800; published 1888), Laodamia (1815), and Memorials of a Tour on the Continent (1822). Wordsworth also wrote the prose works Convention of Cintra (1809) and A Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of England (1810; reprinted with additions, 1822). Much of Wordsworth's easy flow of conversational blank verse has true lyrical power and grace, and his finest work is permeated by a sense of the human relationship to external nature that is religious in its scope and intensity. To Wordsworth, God was everywhere manifest in the harmony of nature, and he felt deeply the kinship between nature and the soul of humankind. The tide of critical opinion turned in his favor after 1820, and Wordsworth lived to see his work universally praised. In 1842 he was awarded a government pension, and in the following year he succeeded Southey as poet laureate. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount, April 23, 1850, and was buried in the Grasmere churchyard.

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) Ivanhoe Published 1819 I ABOUT THE AUTHOR Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Walterand Anne Scott. Of the couple's 12 children, only five survived infancy, and Walter narrowly escaped an early death himself when, at two years old, he contracted polio, which left him permanently disabled. As a child, he was an avid reader of fairy tales, ballads, Shakespeare, fiction, Asian fables, and folklore. Through visits to his grandfather's farm in the valley of the Tweed River and to the homes of other relatives in the Border country and in the Highlands, Scott developed a superb memory for Scottish gossip, history, legend, song, and folklore. By the age of 14, he could recite Scots ballads from memory; this skill combined with his passion


for medieval romances, history, and travel books formed the basis of his education. Never completely happy with formal schooling, he spent the years 1778-1782 at the High School of Edinburgh and proceeded to Edinburgh University in 1783 but soon left because of poor health. Scott continued reading English literature at home with the help of a tutor; in the meantime, he was apprenticed to his father as a legal clerk. At various points during the next nine years, Scott attended humanities and law classes at Edinburgh University. Although he applied himself seriously to his apprenticeship, traveling the country on business for his father, he always maintained a heavy schedule of reading. In 1792 he qualified to practice law and was admitted to the Scottish Bar. With his profession apparently chosen, he married Charlotte Carpenter in 1797. Although he continued to practice law, he was made sheriff of Selkirkshire in 1799 and went to live at Ashestiel on the Tweed, returning to Edinburgh when the law sessions opened. Among Scott's first published works was a three-volume collection of popular ballads, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-1803), which revealed his strengths as a folklorist. Publication of his long poems The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810) made Scott one of the most widely read poets in the British Isles, and although his legal practice suffered, his literary success brought fresh income. By 1812 Scott moved to the small estate of Abbotsford, where he hoped to live the life of a country gentleman. Earlier, he had become a silent partner in a bookselling business, John Ballantyne and Co., and also helped promote the founding of the Tory journal the Quarterly Review (1809). In 1813 he turned down an offer to assume the position of poet laureate, which was then awarded to Robert Southey, partly at Scott's suggestion. When the public shifted its interest to Lord Byron's verse romances, Scott turned to prose writing. Waverley, Scott's first novel, was followed by another 20 novels in the course of ten years. Although these were written anonymously, many readers recognized Scott's popular style, and all 32 of Scott's anonymously published novels are still referred to as his Waverley novels. In 1826 the failures of Ballantyne's printing firm and of Scott's publisher brought him financial ruin, from which he spent the rest of his life extricating himself. Suffering from bouts of apoplexy, Scott was offered free passage by the British government on a frigate voyaging to the Mediterranean, where it was hoped he would regain his health. From this trip, he returned to Abbotsford and died there on September 21, 1832, at the age of 61. He was buried next to his wife in the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey; in 1844 an intricate Gothic monument was erected to his memory in Edinburgh. II OVERVIEW Ivanhoe is an excellent example of the historical novel, as developed by Scott and defined in his numerous prefaces and introductions to his Waverley novels. Scott reconstructs the fascinating struggle between the Normans and the Saxons. Into this cultural conflict, Scott presents fictional characters who participate in actual historical events, among actual historical figures. These characters reflect the effect that the historical events had upon individuals in medieval England. Ivanhoe and the other Waverley novels brought a new perspective to historical writing. No longer would dull chronicles and lifeless collections of fact serve as models for historians; instead, a new kind of history was born that seriously recreated the spirit of the time. Nineteenth-century historians such as Thomas Carlyle and W. H. Prescott recognized that Scott had changed people's very awareness of history. III SETTING The story takes place in 1194, the year of King Richard I's (also known as Richard the LionHearted) return to England from the Third Crusade, which was undertaken to rescue the Holy Land from the Turkish sultan, Saladin. The world of Ivanhoe is the picturesque Midlands and 13

North country of England, specifically the counties of Leicestershire; Nottinghamshire, with the vast Sherwood Forest at its center; and Yorkshire. Using this time and setting enables Scott to examine the nature and role of chivalry at the height of the medieval age. He balances the reality of the 12th century against the romantic ideal, juxtaposing knights in glittering armor, beautiful ladies, and the color and pagentry of the tournament at Ashby, against the bloody siege of Torquilstone and the mortal combat of Ivanhoe and de Bois-Guilbert at Templestowe. He complicates the narrative by introducing the clash of two peoples, the Normans and the Saxons. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) crossed the channel to England and defeated the Saxon Lord Harold. England became a land where oppressive laws forced the Anglo-Saxons to reconcile themselves to Norman rule. Beyond the severity of William's military government, taxes were heavy and the two peoples spoke different languages. But neither the hatred between Normans and Saxons nor the Saxon claim to the English throne persisted into the 12th century. This has led some scholars to criticize Ivanhoe as historically inaccurate, while others claim that he portrays Cedric the Saxon as a fanatic holdout nurturing a hopeless cause. IV THEMES AND CHARACTERS Mark Twain once claimed that Sir Walter Scott caused the American Civil War because his romances, such as Ivanhoe, helped to shape the Southern character, encouraging its devotion to outmoded notions of chivalry and to hopeless battles for impossible causes. Twain's hyperbole may correctly suggest that Scott is one of the great dramatists of history, but it implies an unfair judgment of the novel's theme. Scott's aim was not to glorify the past but to hold it up for the scrutiny of modern society. According to his own statements, he hoped to recreate scenes in which 'our ancestors thought deeply, acted fiercely, and died ignorance of each other's prejudices.' Ivanhoe investigates two related themes: bigotry in political, economic, and religious matters and the shortcomings of the feudal system and its code of chivalry. From the early chapters, Scott explores the divisions between the privileged Normans and the downtrodden Saxons, encouraging the reader's sympathy for the oppressed Cedric the Saxon and his countrymen. With the introduction of Isaac the Jew, Scott compounds his analysis of prejudice. No longer can simple moral distinctions apply between the two races; Isaac and his daughter Rebecca must suffer the hate and ill-treatment of nearly everyone. Reviled as villains, the two more closely resemble victims by whom Scott can measure the cruelty of their oppressors and indict the society that rejects them. If the Saxons, who have themselves suffered at the hands of the Normans, can deride the Jews with so little compunction, England has no claim to greatness. Scott depicts an English society riddled with irrational racial and religious hatred, weakened by an inability to solve its central moral issues. The true struggle faced by the English is, he says, not between Norman or Saxon, but good versus evil, toleration versus bigotry, and patriotism versus self-interest. The characters of Ivanhoe and King Richard function as the leaders of this struggle for a good, tolerant, and patriotic England, bringing a message of conciliation and restoration to the country. Ivanhoe plays a significant role in the first third of the book, first as the Palmer who saves Isaac from Norman treachery, then disguised as the Disinherited Knight when he defeats the Norman knights at Ashby. Devoted to his God, his king, and all victims of unjust tyranny, Ivanhoe symbolically reconciles Norman knighthood with his Saxon heritage by marrying Rowena, descendant of the ancient Saxon princes. King Richard is a more complex and contradictory character. He appears at Ashby in disguise and fights only when Ivanhoe is in danger. Later, he leads Robin Hood's band against Torquilstone, destroying the villainous Front-de-Boeuf and capturing the misguided De Bracy. Richard's mere presence in England sends his brother, the unscrupulous Prince John,


into a fit of terror, ending his conspiracy against the throne. Richard reestablishes the natural order and reasserts the community's values, but he has no ultimate place in the restored community and soon leaves it to the hero, Ivanhoe. As an adventurer, Richard has a dangerous charisma. He enchants Ivanhoe, and for a time the young knight seems susceptible to his power. Ivanhoe's allegiance to Richard remains an essential part of the mystery of his own identity and inheritance. Although both Richard and Ivanhoe lead the fight against tyrannical villains such as Prince John and Brian de Bois-Guilbert, their chivalric effort to bring order and honor to England ignores the tyranny of anti-Semitic oppression. The book ends with the exile of Rebecca and Isaac, who must find a more secure home than England. An early battle over intolerance has been won, but the realist in Scott recognizes that prejudice dies hard and leaves many victims. The intelligent and articulate Rebecca, one of Scott's finest characters, frames the moral center of the novel. Although Rebecca remains a victim of bigotry, her moral superiority offers her a greater perspective on the human condition. Her debates with Ivanhoe on the virtues of chivalry express Scott's essential theme and the central conflict on the novel. Ivanhoe lamely defends the chivalric code he lives by, while Rebecca exposes it as a selfserving, superficial standard of behavior. Ivanhoe is seemingly the hero of the novel that bears his name, while the bland Rowena, Rebecca's Gentile counterpart, supposedly achieves heroine status by marrying her knight, Ivanhoe. The character of Rebecca breaks through this fairy-tale plot of chivalry to emerge as the true heroine of the novel. She represents the goodness, tolerance, and social commitment that English society lacks, but because she is an outspoken Jewish woman, English society despises her. Through Rebecca, Scott illustrates the pretensions and hypocrisies of the chivalric code, the tragic pathos of those it ignores, and the violence and chaos it cannot repress. V LITERARY QUALITIES Ivanhoe is notable for the symmetry of its structure, the vivid incidents and settings, and the essential humanity of many of its characters. Although often criticized for the slipshod structure of his novels, Scott arranged the plot of Ivanhoe into three well-balanced, brilliant episodes. Beginning with the tournament at Ashby, proceeding to the central scene during the siege of Torquilstone, and culminating in the trial by combat at Templestowe, he creates an episodic structure that enables him to develop his theme while concentrating on a single incident. For example, the success of the tournament of Ashby scene depends on the secret of the Disinherited Knight's identity and Scott's handling of the mass battle scene. The suspense created by hiding Ivanhoe's identity early in the novel serves as a major device for securing and maintaining the reader's interest. As the events lead to the confrontation at Ashby, Scott creates reader sympathy for the disguised Ivanhoe. When this unidentified hero defeats his menacing enemies, his heroics set the tone for a novel of pure romance. Yet, this scene helps develop Scott's antichivalric theme, for his novel is a deliberate criticism of romance and condemns with savage irony the war and those who pursue glory for its own sake. Within his carefully structured episodes, Scott further develops his theme and plot through lively and lengthy dialogue. Although the exchanges between characters such as Ivanhoe and Rebecca often include stilted language and long, preachy passages, they successfully establish the characters' opposing viewpoints and Scott's theme. In contrast, the banter among Richard, his men, and the villainous tyrants serves largely to propel the plot forward and heighten dramatic action. Scott's character development, though uneven, is most effective in the cases of Ivanhoe and Rebecca. Ivanhoe, who reflects the nobler qualities of chivalry, cannot completely escape the historical evolution taking place. A product of his heredity, environment, and profession, he struggles between the tyranny of the past and the instinct for progress and growth. Each succeeding episode further clarifies his dilemma until he must compromise his heroic ideals to


survive in the modern world. Unfortunately, Ivanhoe never fully realizes this; instead, it is Rebecca who understands the need to reject outmoded ideals. Through Rebecca's insight, the reader confronts the reality that historical pressures and conflicts shape individuals. VI SOCIAL SENSITIVITY Ivanhoe has often been identified as a work that glorifies war and revels in bloodshed and the clang of sword upon sword. But, Ivanhoe is about the shaping forces of history, not the superficial qualities of costume drama. The violence that permeates a good part of the book accurately portrays the atmosphere of medieval England, and physical violence in particular is roundly condemned as a method for distinguishing good from evil and justice from injustice. While analyzing chivalry's failure to halt warfare, Scott also portrays the dangers facing a society infected by bigotry. Whether describing religious or racial prejudice, Scott stands firmly opposed to intolerance of any kind. His study of Isaac and Rebecca has become one of the most powerful statements in the English novel against the historical mistreatment of the Jews. Disinherited and forced into such occupations as moneylending by a society that manipulates them for its own purposes, Isaac and Rebecca defend themselves honorably. When the two must leave England for safer shores at the end of the novel, Scott clearly points to the injustice of this unfortunate exile. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) Samuel Taylor Coleridge I INTRODUCTION Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English poet, critic, and philosopher, who was a leader of the romantic movement (see Romanticism). The highly imaginative and vivid images of his poems along with their varied rhythms and strange settings evoke the mysterious atmosphere of a fairy tale or nightmare. II COLERIDGES LIFE Coleridge is often regarded as a tragic genius who fulfilled only a fraction of his enormous potential. He was handicapped by his impulsive and impractical nature, which caused him to leave many projects uncompleted. Nevertheless, he created poetry of unique beauty and power. A Early Years Coleridge was born in Ottery Saint Mary in the English county of Devonshire on October 21, 1772. His father was a clergyman and a scholar. From 1791 until 1794 Coleridge studied classics at Jesus College at the University of Cambridge and became interested in the politics of the French Revolution (1789-1799), which was then underway. Through heavy drinking and other self-indulgent behavior he incurred large debts, which he attempted to clear by entering the army for a brief period. His brother paid for his release from the army. At the university Coleridge absorbed political and theological ideas then considered radical, especially those of Unitarianism.


Coleridge left Cambridge without a degree and worked with his university friend the poet Robert Southey on a plan, soon abandoned, to found a utopian society in Pennsylvania. This ideal society, which Coleridge dubbed Pantisocracy, was based on the ideas of English political philosopher William Godwin. But the plan evaporated soon after the two friends married sisters, Sara and Edith Fricker, in 1795. Coleridges marriage to Sara proved extremely unhappy, and his friendship with Southey cooled as well. Southey departed for Portugal in 1795, but Coleridge remained in England to write and lecture. From his new home in Clevedon, he edited a radical Christian journal, The Watchman. In 1796 he published Poems on Various Subjects, which included The Eolian Harp and Monody on the Death of Chatterton. B Friendship with Wordsworth By 1797 Coleridge had met the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, and had begun what was to be a lifelong friendship with them. The years 1797 and 1798, during which the friends lived near each other in the county of Somerset, were among the most productive of Coleridges life. The two men anonymously published a joint volume of poetry, Lyrical Ballads (1798), which became a landmark in English poetry (see English Literature). It contained the first great works of the romantic school, including the famous The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In the fall of 1798 Coleridge and Wordsworth left for a trip on the European continent. Coleridge soon went his own way, spending much of his time in Germany. During this period he lost his early sympathy with political radicalism and became interested in German philosophy, especially the 18th-century idealism of Immanuel Kant and the 17th-century mystical writings of Jakob Boehme, and in the literary criticism of the 18th-century dramatist G. E. Lessing. Coleridge studied German and translated into English the dramatic trilogy Wallenstein by the romantic poet Friedrich von Schiller. These studies made Coleridge the most influential English interpreter of German romanticism. By this time Coleridge had become addicted to opium, a drug he used to ease the pain of rheumatism. In 1800 Coleridge returned to England, and shortly thereafter settled with his family and friends at Keswick in the Lake District of Cumberland. In 1804 he went to the island of Malta as secretary to the governor. Coleridge returned to England in 1806. Between 1808 and 1819 he gave his famous series of lectures on literature and philosophy; the lectures on Shakespeare were partly responsible for a renewed interest in the playwright. In this period Coleridge also wrote about religion and political theory. Financial donations and grants supplemented his literary income. C Seclusion in London In 1816 Coleridge, still addicted to opium and now estranged from his family, took residence in the London home of an admirer, the physician James Gillman. There he wrote his major prose work, Biographia Literaria (1817), a series of autobiographical notes and dissertations on many subjects, including some brilliantly perceptive literary criticism. The sections in which Coleridge defines his views on the nature of poetry and the imagination and discusses


the works of Wordsworth are especially notable. Other writings were published while he was in seclusion at the Gillman home, notably Sibylline Leaves (1817), Aids to Reflection (1825), and Church and State (1830). He died in London on July 25, 1834. Coleridges oldest son, Hartley Coleridge, was an accomplished scholar, best known for his poetry. III COLERIDGES WORKS Critical interest in Coleridge has focused on the poems he wrote in the 1790s. In addition to the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge wrote the symbolic poem Kubla Khan during this period; began the mystical narrative poem Christabel; and composed the quietly lyrical This LimeTree Bower My Prison, Frost at Midnight, and The Nightingale, considered three of his best conversational poems. A Conversational Poems One of Coleridges major achievements of the 1790s was the development of the conversational or conversation poem. Deeply personal, these works are emotional meditations on experiences from everyday life. This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison (1797) relates the poets frustration when injury prevents him from taking a walk with friends. Through his imagination, he participates in their pleasure and realizes that the tree bower under which he is convalescing also possesses a profound beauty. He writes, Nature neer deserts the wise and pure; No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, No waste so vacant, but may well employ Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart Awake to Love and Beauty! In The Nightingale (1798) the poet first reflects on the birds association with melancholy and the reinforcement of that association through poetry. He then goes on to relate the intense experience of observing his young sons delight in first hearing the birds song, a delight that negates the conventional association. Frost at Midnight (1798), perhaps Coleridges most powerful conversational poem, is quietly meditative in tone. Its rhythm is subtle and unforced, successfully suggesting the rhythms of actual speech. The poems speaker reflects on the silence of the night as he watches over his sleeping child. As in the other conversational poems by Coleridge, the mind of the poet and his environment are brought into intimate contact. Here, the secret ministry of frost sets the poet on his imaginative journey. In dim sympathy with the wintry nights silence, he muses on an unhappy urban childhood, spent in the great city, pent mid cloisters dim, and resolves that this will not be the case for his son. Coleridge returns from his thoughts with a touching expression of joy at the sight of his sleeping child, My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart. B The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


The opening poem of the first edition of Lyrical Ballads, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, is, in a precise historical sense, the only true ballad in the book. It conforms to the traditional rules of meter for the genre, which was established in the late Middle Ages. In his attempt to construct a historical artifact, Coleridge in some ways resembles the English aristocrats of the period who enhanced their parks and gardens with picturesque ruins. The poem is scattered with archaic words and phrases, such as unhand me, grey-beard loon! The 1798 edition used the mock-medieval spelling, Ancyent Marinere. Later, Coleridge added prose explanations in the style of a 17th-century scholar. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is essentially a narrative poem that describes a meeting between the title character and a guest at a wedding. The wedding guest expects to hear an amusing anecdote from the mariner but finds himself listening instead to the story of a horrific supernatural ordeal. The mariner tells how his rash act of killing an albatross brings ghostly retribution upon the crew of his ship. The dead bird is hung around the mariners neck to indicate his cursed status. The ship is adrift in a stagnant sea alive with slimy things. Dying of thirst, the men are visited by a ghostly sight, the Night-mare Life in Death. Adrift on a ship of dead men, the mariner is released when, looking at the slimy water-snakes, he blesses them for their strange beauty. The albatross falls from his neck, but for his act he is condemned to wander the Earth, preaching reverence for all creatures. The poem achieves the stated aims of Lyrical Ballads with its strong, simple rhythms and repetitions, creating the impression that it is a product of oral tradition rather than written culture. The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around: It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound. In addition to emphasizing the poems balladic features, the insistent rhymes allude to the irresistible supernatural powers that take control of the ship, and they give urgency to the mariners narration. This urgency is a cursed one: I pass, like night, from land to land, he declares, compelled to relate his story with his strange power of speech. There is much strangeness in the poem that is hard to interpret consistently. In particular, the momentous killing of the albatross, a central event, seems an act totally without motive. Coleridge makes use of a number of poetic devices in the Ancient Mariner. As the crew is suffering from heat and thirst, he introduces images such as the copper sky and the bloody sun to emphasize the heat and suffering. He describes the becalmed boat as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean and the water as like a witchs oils. Both comparisons are examples of similes (see Figure of Speech). He repeats sounds at the beginnings of words (alliteration) and vowel sounds in the middle of words (assonance), as in the line about, about, in reel and rout. C Christabel


Like the Ancient Mariner, Christabel (1798, revised 1800) is a supernatural poem. Christabel was published as a fragment. Coleridge drafted, but never completed, a second part. The poem is a fantasy with a medieval setting influenced by the conventions of the Gothic novel then popular in England. It is narrative-based rather than reflective, also like the Ancient Mariner. Christabel tells the story of a baronets daughter who discovers a mysterious woman in the forest that surrounds her castle home. This woman, Geraldine, appears to be the victim of an abduction, but in fact is a predatory, vampirelike creature. Coleridge gives her desire to do evil a strongly erotic edge, placing much emphasis on Geraldines desire to look at Christabels naked bodya sight to dream of, not to tell! Exclamations such as this are urgently addressed to the reader, a practice also borrowed from Gothic fiction. D Kubla Khan Coleridge claimed that the poem Kubla Khan (1798) was the product of a hallucinatory dream experienced after he had taken opium in consequence of a slight indisposition. On awaking, he began to commit the experience to paper but was interrupted by a person on business from Porlock. On returning to his desk, he found that the intensity of his impressions had faded. The poem claims to be scattered lines and images from a longer, forgotten work. Whether the story is true or not, the poem takes the unrecapturable nature of such dreams as its theme. It opens with sumptuous images of a mythic land, in which a powerful ruler orders the construction of a fabulous palace. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree; Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. Coleridge conveys the idea of harmony and order by imitating the word order of the Latin language, using strong single-syllable rhymes, and providing a percussive beat heightened by alliteration. The poem offers sensual images of an oriental paradise: There are gardens bright with sinuous rills and many an incense-bearing tree. With a powerful sense of movement, the poem follows the progress of the river Alph in order to focus on a violent natural force beyond the palace walls: a chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething. Coleridge describes this place with a mass of contradictory adjectives: It is holy, enchanted, and savage, its massive force like that of a living being. If, as literary critics have suggested, this place is a metaphor (see Figure of Speech) for the imagination, its blasts might be compared to Wordsworths definition of the poetic process as a spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling. The second half of the poem considers the fading of the dream and the speakers attempt to recapture it. He finds that his attempt to communicate his vision to others threatens to alienate him from those people.


E Evaluation Coleridge was esteemed by some of his contemporaries and is recognized today as a lyrical poet and literary critic of the first rank. His poetic themes range from the supernatural to the domestic. His treatises, lectures, and compelling conversational powers made him perhaps the most influential English literary critic and philosopher of the 19th century. Despite the fact that his best-known works were written by 1800, and that several of these remain unfinished, Coleridges status as a major poet remains secure. His increasing use of opium ended his period of poetic production, and he left many works incomplete. Yet he turned even these problems into the subject of a poem, Dejection: An Ode (1802), an agonizing expression of his desire for poetic inspiration.

JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) Pride and Prejudice Published 1813 I ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jane Austen, one of England's most cherished and frequently read novelists, was born into the landed gentry in the town of Steventon on December 16, 1775. She was the sixth of seven children raised by strong parents: Cassandra, the daughter of an Oxford University scholar, and George, an Oxford-educated country clergyman. Never married, Austen lived comfortably with her family in Steventon until 1800, and thereafter in Bath, Southampton, and Chawton. Many of her biographers have written that Austen's life lacked dramatic or noteworthy incidents. She and her older sister Cassandra were educated primarily at home by their father. As a youth she read literature avidly, wrote fragments of novels and histories, and took part in standard social activities such as formal dances and visiting. In adulthood her daily life included assisting her parents at home and looking after her many nieces and nephews. Two adult experiences do stand out: in 1801 a mysterious romantic interest of hers died, and in 1802 she accepted and then declined an offer of marriage from a man she did not love. Otherwise Austen seems to have lived happily and uneventfully. During her mature years, when she was an author of solid repute, she remained at home, preferring rural domesticity to the London literary scene. She died in Winchester of Addison's disease on July 18, 1817. In her early twenties, Austen wrote in earnest, completing Lady Susan, Elinor and Marianne, and First Impressions, and drafting other works. Her father sent the novels to a publisher, but all were rejected, as was Susan in 1803. In 1804 she began The Watsons but abandoned it after her father's death. Perhaps because of these disappointments, Austen's interest in writing waned until 1809-1811, when she revised Elinor and Marianne and won it an anonymous printing as Sense and Sensibility. In 1812 she greatly revised First Impressions and saw it published, also anonymously, as Pride and Prejudice. Working intensely in a busy parlor in her Chawton home from 1813 to 1816, she composed Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion and revised Susan into Northanger Abbey, a spoof of the popular romance and horror novels of the era. At the time of her death she was working on a manuscript entitled Sanditon. All of these works deal with the lives of young, marriageable men and women in England's nineteenth-century rural landowning and aristocratic classes. Young readers have long admired Austen's endearing, if imperfect heroes and heroines, whose struggles to find the right partner are complex, moving, and often humorous. Austen's work is also known for its 21

finely crafted plots, masterful language, and subtle irony, and for its vivid and sometimes satirical presentation of the only society in which Jane Austen lived. II OVERVIEW Pride and Prejudice is a love story that is both humorous and deeply serious. It is primarily concerned with the Bennets, a family with five daughters ranging in age from twenty-two to fifteen. The family children live well but know that when their father dies they will lose their home and property to their cousin Mr. Collins, simply because the family has no male heir. Mrs. Bennet, a comically deluded woman, believes that her main business is to arrange for her children to marry rich or, at worst, reputable gentlemen. Her husband, a genial wit, refuses to support her schemes but rarely hinders them. As a result, when experiences with bachelors of varying worth lead to problems and new emotions, the daughters must struggle on their own, without parental guidance. The novel portrays two remarkable characters with whom generations of readers have fallen in love: Elizabeth Bennet, the talented, independent second daughter, and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, a haughty aristocrat who sees through Mrs. Bennet's manipulations and believes the Bennet family to be beneath him. In turn, Elizabeth develops a blinding prejudice against Darcy and puts him down as no one has dared before. Their relationshipa combination of attraction and contemptis certainly one of the most exciting in all literature. Through its vivid characters, Pride and Prejudice contrasts many human qualities: depth and superficiality; honesty and dishonesty; pride and humility; independence and servile compliance; selfishness and generosity. Most important, Austen contrasts weak, dense people with those who can recognize their own foibles and thus mature. It is the latter group that the writer sees as the moral leaders of her society. III SETTING The story begins in the autumn of 1811 when Charles Bingley, accompanied by his two sisters and Darcy, takes up residence at Netherfield, close to the Bennets' home at Longbourn. Both homes are located in a rural area of Hertfordshire, a county in southeast-central England. Other scenes take place in nearby Rosings in Kent county, where Mr. Collins occupies a clergyman's 'seat,' and in the central county Derbyshire, where Darcy lives. The novel also describes, but does not show, events that occur in London (located twenty-four miles from Longbourn) and in the popular seaside resort town of Brighton. Pride and Prejudice reveals distinctions of social class that may seem unusual to young American readers. Darcy and his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, are members of the aristocracy, England's hereditary ruling class. The Bennet family and the clergyman Mr. Collinslike Jane Austen herselffall into the category of landed gentry, which means that they own property in the country, are well-bred, and hold a good social position. The Bennets are 'poor' only in comparison with others of the gentry. Historically, the aristocracy and gentry mixed freely but tended not to cross lines for marriage. Both maintained business but not social dealings with people of 'inferior' status, such as small merchants, tenant farmers, and servants. The members of the Bingley family, from the north of England, are neither gentry nor aristocracy, but their wealth and cultivation earn them immediate prestige in Hertfordshire and make Charles an attractive bachelor. Finally, the officer corps of the militia contains men of diverse status, ranging from aristocrats such as Colonel Fitzwilliam to men of more ordinary background, such as Lieutenant George Wickham, whose father once managed the property of Darcy's father. Wickham's rank as an officer allows him to visit the Bennet family, but his lack of money or property renders him a poor choice for marriage, as Mrs. Gardiner reminds her niece Elizabeth. Young readers should know that Austen considers rural communities like the Bennets' places of comfort and havens for traditional values. Families know each other well and care very 22

much about how they appear to their neighbors. Unlike London, which values change, fashion, and commerce, Austen's country towns preserve pleasures considered more genteel: social graces, family living, and honorable courtship. In this world marriage is a complex institution; teen-age women are considered 'out' (or eligible for suitors) after they attend their first dance, and most of a young woman's life consists of preparing for marriage. For most women, the choice of a spouse is the most significant decision they will make. Because few women hold jobs, those who do not marry may live lonely, idle existences. Many coupleslike Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collinswed not for love but to gain property or achieve a desired social rank. Austen's novels show such arrangements, but they do not approve of them; her heroes and heroines never marry coldly. IV THEMES AND CHARACTERS Jane Austen is a keen observer of human behavior. She shows that while men and women often think too highly of themselves, deceive or flatter others, and act stupidly, they are also capable of love, kindness, and moral growth. With this mingling of positive and negative traits, her heroes and heroines seem deeply human. The novelist is reputed to have considered Elizabeth Bennet her favorite creation. Indeed, the twenty-year-old possesses brains, beauty, musical talent, confidence, andfor the erarare independence. At every turn Elizabeth displays the latter trait: she walks several miles alone to visit her ailing sister Jane at Netherfield; she declines Mr. Collins's marriage offer despite her mother's outrage; she angrily rejects Darcy's condescending proposal in the novel's most stunning scene. But this independenceperhaps inherited from her motherleads her to make mistakes: she judges Wickham, Darcy, and others too soon, and then clings stubbornly to her prejudices. Fitzwilliam Darcy first appears as an exceedingly self-impressed figure. Early in the novel, as he rudely refrains from dancing at a ball, Elizabeth overhears him talking derogatorily about her and the other women. At the next dance, he 'must' admit to himself, although he still considers himself superior, that Elizabeth's intelligent expression is 'beautiful.' He falls in love with her against his wishesdespite detesting her bumptious mother, despite erroneously distrusting her older sister Jane, despite disdaining her family's modest means, and despite detecting Elizabeth's thinly veiled hostility. Darcy's attempts to approach Elizabeth succeed only in offending her more, and to complicate matters, his arrogant Aunt Catherine expects him to marry within the aristocracy. Pride and Prejudice develops other characters skillfully if less fully. Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet fall in love quickly and tastefully at the novel's outset. Both respect social form and refuse to write or visit the other improperly. Bingley's intrusive sisters and Darcy remove him to London in an attempt to break up their relationship. The sisters believe that their brother should marry someone of his wealth, while Darcy believes that Jane, like her mother, favors Charles only for his money. Jane, a thoughtful, self-denying womanthe opposite of Mrs. Bennettries to hide her heartbreak and humiliation from her family, particularly her mother, for whom their engagement had been a certainty. Meanwhile, the youngest Bennet, Lydia, whose shallowness points to her parents' deficiencies, rushes into an ill-advised romance with Wickham, an officer who at first appears charming and trustworthy. Wickham recountsto Elizabeth's satisfactionhow Darcy unjustly kept him from receiving the large inheritance Darcy's father had left for him. Later, after this lie is exposed by Darcy, Wickham fails in a ruthless attempt to marry a rich northern woman and impulsively elopes with the naive Lydia. The sixteen-year-old girl speaks recklessly, acts offensively, and must gratify her impulses instantly. Lydia fails to see that running off with Wickham scandalizes her family. Pride and Prejudice depicts a leadership crisis in the Bennet family and in the community as a whole. Mrs. Bennet's tactless meddling in Jane's affairs creates the appearance that her


daughter is hunting Bingley's fortune. Mrs. Bennet also fails to anticipate the disastrous possibilities of her young daughter's flirting with militiamen. Her hunger for attention damages the family reputation at every public occasion. Meanwhile, as likeable as her husband may seem, he has no stomach for disciplining his children. He is not seriously engaged in their lives except when Lydia's flight jeopardizes the family. Then he reluctantly assumes his paternal duties and makes for London to reclaim his daughter, only to return in failure. Several memorable minor characters also contribute to this leadership void. Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Darcy's aunt, is a rich, domineering woman who stifles others' spirits at every social gathering and considers Elizabeth a poor match for her nephew. Sir William Lucas, Charlotte's 'empty-headed' father, lives inconsequentially, overly concerned with his own importance. Mr. Collins, the young clergyman, strives for no role of substance in his community, instead considering his only urgent duty to follow Lady Catherine's orders quickly and precisely. Pride and Prejudice shows the Bennet familyand by inference the country life that Austen lovedto be in a state of crisis. With no strong adult influences, the best young people step forward. Darcy shows his true mettle by secretly helping Charles return to Jane, by ensuring that Wickham and Lydia return to Longbourn as a married couple with an income, and by proposing again to Elizabeth with new humility. Shamed, Elizabeth recognizes many of her misjudgments and accepts Darcy's proposal. Their personalities soften and blend beautifully. Like any moralist, Austen shows that foolish or evil actions do have adverse consequences. Although Jane ends up happily married to Bingley, the scheming of her mother and Bingley's sisters causes her real pain. More severely, Lydia ends up living joylessly with her indifferent husband, always moving about and never financially secure. Darcy's intervention preserves her reputation, but her life amounts to little. The novel ends on the hopeful note of two Christmas-time weddings for the eldest Bennet daughters. Elizabeth builds a friendship with Darcy's sister Georgiana, occasionally sends money to Lydia, and gradually moves her husband to reconcile with his aunt. By their actions and their shared sense of duty, Elizabeth and Darcya union of the gentry and the aristocracyshow themselves to have become leaders in their society. V LITERARY QUALITIES Pride and Prejudice is an exciting, suspenseful story. The novel does not drag, for Austen writes succinctly and structures a tight plot. The story is based on a series of conflicts: the central one between Elizabeth and Darcy, and smaller ones concerning the other characters. Every chapter builds towards the novel's climax, Elizabeth's visit to Darcy's home in Derbyshire, and the resolution is both plausible and satisfying. Pride and Prejudice is an excellent book to reread because of its foreshadowingsubtle hints of upcoming events. Darcy's first proposal to Elizabeth, Lydia's elopement, and Charlotte's marriage are among the novel's many foreshadowed occurrences. Austen also uses language superbly, but not in flowery or flashy ways. Rather, she writes with great clarity and precision, and employs irony for a comic effect. Irony allows a writer to communicate more than the literal or expected meanings of his or her language. For instance, upon Darcy's entrance to a dance in chapter 3, Austen writes that 'the report was in general circulation within five minutes...of his having ten thousand a year.' Here Austen pokes fun at the gossipy nature of the people and shows why Darcy might be justified in feeling out of place. Austen also fills the novel's dialogue with irony, making people such as Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins reveal their foolishness to the reader through their ridiculous comments. Many critics consider the novel a satire, which, in general terms, is a literary work that uses irony and humor to expose human or social faults. Thus, Lydia embodies vanity, Wickham dishonesty, Mr. Collins obsequiousness, and Mrs. Bennet a multitude of follies. Austen does


not tear down country life or folk; rather, she directs the reader's gaze to some of the human imperfections that threaten the virtues of her culture. Pride and Prejudice possesses other literary qualities. Austen renders splendid characters, showing how their errors result from their flaws. She uses symbolism sparingly but successfully; for example, the ordered, austere beauty of Darcy's grounds and home at Pemberly represents his real nature. Finally, Austen employs the omniscient point of view, which means that her all-knowing narrator has complete knowledge of the story and can reveal any character's thoughts and feelings to the reader. Most of the time, the narrator shows the world as Elizabeth sees it. VI SOCIAL SENSITIVITY Pride and Prejudice contains no violent or explicit scenes and adults should feel comfortable that it is appropriate for young readers. Nevertheless, the novel does present as 'normal' certain attitudes that few readers share today. The class system imposes unwritten rules on who may marry or socialize with whom. Young readers may profit from learning about other manifestations of class discrimination: injustice, social unrest, and the leveling of aspirations. Also, the novel does not question or challenge the inferior position allotted to women in early nineteenth-century country life. Mr. Bennet's daughters cannot inherit his property, and they receive less schooling than do males of the landed gentry. Twenty-seven-year-olds such as Charlotte Lucas marry lesser men for fear of wearing the label 'spinster' at thirty. Women cannot work and thus are economically dependent upon men. For women, 'success' is defined solely in terms of marriage and domestic affairsin short, in terms of what they provide for men. But even in the homeMr. Bennet's weakness notwithstandingthe father controls the money and holds ultimate authority. That Elizabeth is even considered 'rebellious' is one measure of the restriction of women; her actions surely would not earn her that label today. Teachers and other adults may find it helpful to discuss gender roles and sex discrimination with young readers. While Elizabeth has been called a pioneer for sexual equality (she tells Mrs. Gardiner that she will marry Wickham or whomever else she pleases), she does in fact take rather nicely to her appointed role in the end. Plot introduction Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters with opposite temperaments. Traditionally, it has been viewed that 19 year old Elinor, the elder daughter, represents "sense" (reason) of the title, and Marianne , who is 17, represents "sensibility" (emotion). However this view is a very restricting one. On close inspection of the novel it can be seen that each sister represents different aspects of each characteristic. Elinor and Marianne are the daughters of Mr. Dashwood by his second wife. They have a younger sister, Margaret, and an older half-brother named John. When their father dies, the family estate passes to John and the Dashwood women are left impoverished. Fortunately, a distant relative offers to rent the women a cottage on his property. The novel follows the Dashwood sisters to their new home, where they experience both romance and heartbreak. The contrast between the sisters' characters is eventually resolved as they each find love and lasting happiness.

[edit] Plot summary When Mr. Dashwood dies, his estate, Norland, passes to his eldest son, John. This leaves his second wife and three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, at the mercy of their stepson/half-brother and his selfish wife Fanny. Treated like unwelcome guests in their own


home, the Dashwood women begin looking for another place to live. Meanwhile, Elinor has become attached to Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, an unassuming, intelligent young man. But because Mrs. Ferrars wants her son to marry a woman of high rank, Elinor does not allow herself to hope for marriage. Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters move from Norland to Barton Cottage, owned by their distant cousin Sir John Middleton, who lives at Barton Park with his family. Also staying there are Mrs. Jennings (Lady Middleton's mother) and Colonel Brandon, an old friend of Sir John. The gossipy Mrs. Jennings decides that Colonel Brandon must be in love with Marianne, and teases them about it. Marianne is displeased: she considers Colonel Brandon, age thirty-five, to be an old bachelor incapable of falling in love or inspiring love in anyone else.

A 19th century illustration showing Willoughby cutting a lock of Marianne's hairMarianne, out for a stroll, gets caught in the rain and sprains her ankle. The dashing and handsome Mr. Willoughby rescues Marianne, carries her back home, and wins her admiration. He comes to visit her every day, and Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood begin to suspect that the couple have secretly become engaged. However, Mrs. Dashwood's sentimental nature prevents her from asking Marianne about her relationship with Willoughby. Marianne is devastated when Willoughby announces that he must go to London on business, not to return for at least a year. Edward Ferrars visits the Dashwoods at Barton Cottage, but seems unhappy and is distant towards Elinor. She fears that he no longer has feelings for her. However, unlike Marianne, she does not wallow in her sadness. Shortly afterward, Anne and Lucy Steele, cousins of Lady Middleton, come to stay at Barton Park. Sir John tells Lucy that Elinor is attached to Edward, prompting Lucy to inform Elinor that she (Lucy) has been secretly engaged to Edward for four years. Though Elinor initially blames Edward for engaging her affections when he was not free to do so, she realises that he became engaged to Lucy while he was young and naive. She understands that Edward does not love Lucy, but that he will not hurt or dishonor her by breaking their engagement. Elinor hides her disappointment, and convinces Lucy that she feels nothing for Edward. Elinor and Marianne spend the winter at Mrs. Jennings' home in London. Marianne's letters to Willoughby go unanswered, and he treats her coldly when he sees her at a party. He later sends Marianne a letter informing her that he is engaged to a Miss Grey, a very wealthy and high-born woman. Marianne admits to Elinor that she and Willoughby were never engaged, but that she loved him and he led her to believe that he loved her. Colonel Brandon tells Elinor that Willoughby had seduced Brandon's foster daughter, Miss Williams, and abandoned her when she became pregnant. Brandon was once in love with Miss Williams's mother, a woman who resembled Marianne and whose life was destroyed by an unhappy arranged marriage to the Colonel's brother. Mrs. Ferrars discovers Edward and Lucy's engagement; when he refuses to end it, she disinherits him. Elinor and Marianne feel sorry for Edward, and think him honourable for remaining engaged to a woman he will probably not be happy with. Edward plans to take holy orders to earn his living, and Colonel Brandon, knowing how lives can be ruined when love is


denied, offers Edward his parish at Delaford. Elinor meets Edward's boorish brother Robert and is shocked that he has no qualms about claiming his brother's inheritance. Marianne, miserable over Willoughby, wanders in the rain and becomes very ill. Colonel Brandon goes to get Mrs. Dashwood. Willoughby arrives and tells Elinor that he was disinherited when his benefactress discovered his seduction of Miss Williams, so he decided to marry the wealthy Miss Grey. He says that he still loves Marianne, and seeks forgiveness, but has poor excuses for his selfish actions. Meanwhile, Colonel Brandon tells Mrs. Dashwood that he loves Marianne. Marianne recovers and the Dashwoods return to Barton Cottage. Elinor tells Marianne about Willoughby's visit. Marianne admits that though she loved Willoughby, she could not have been happy with the libertine father of an illegitimate child even if he had stood by her. Marianne also realizes that her illness was brought on by her wallowing in her grief, by her excessive sensibility, and that, had she died, it would have been morally equivalent to suicide. She now resolves to model herself after Elinor's courage and good sense. The family learns that Lucy has married "Mr. Ferrars". When Mrs. Dashwood sees how upset Elinor is, she finally realises how strong Elinor's feelings for Edward are and is sorry that she did not pay more attention to her unhappiness. However, the very next day Edward arrives and reveals that it was his brother, Robert Ferrars, who married Lucy. He says that he was trapped in his engagement with Lucy, "a woman he had long since ceased to love", and she broke the engagement to marry the now wealthy Robert. Edward asks Elinor to marry him, and she agrees. Edward becomes reconciled with his mother, who gives him ten thousand pounds. They marry and move into the parsonage at Delaford. Still, Mrs. Ferrars tends to favor Robert and Lucy over Edward and Elinor. Mr. Willoughby's patroness eventually gives him his inheritance, seeing that his marriage to a woman of good character redeemed him. Willoughby realizes that marrying Marianne would have produced the same effect; thus, had he behaved honourably, he could have had both love and money. Over the next two years, Mrs. Dashwood, Marianne and Margaret spend most of their time at Delaford. Marianne matures and decides to marry the Colonel even though she feels more respect than passion for him. However, after the marriage she realizes that she truly loves him. She and the Colonel set up house near Elinor and Edward, so the sisters and their husbands can visit each other often. [edit] Plot summary Emma Woodhouse is a young woman in Regency England. She lives with her father, a hypochondriac who is principally characterized by excessive concern for the health and safety of his loved ones. Emma's friend and only critic is the gentlemanly Mr Knightley, her"neighbour"and brother-in-law (brother of her sister's husband). As the novel opens, Emma has just attended the marriage of Miss Taylor, her old governess and best friend. Having introduced Miss Taylor to her future husband Mr Weston, Emma smugly takes credit for their marriage, and decides that she rather likes matchmaking. Against Knightley's advice, she next tries to match her new friend, Harriet Smith (a sweet but none-too-bright girl of seventeen, described as "the natural (i.e. illegitimate) daughter of somebody") to the local vicar, Mr Elton, first persuading her to refuse an advantageous


marriage proposal from a respectable young farmer, Mr Martin. Her matchmaking scheme goes awry when it turns out that Mr Elton, a social climber, wants to marry Emma herself not, as she had hoped, the poor and socially inferior Harriet. After Emma rejects his proposals, Mr Elton goes on holiday. Harriet fancies herself heartbroken, though Emma does her best to convince her that Mr Elton (who will reveal himself to be more and more arrogant and pompous as the story continues) is beneath them both. An interesting development for Emma is the arrival in the neighbourhood of Frank Churchill, Mrs Weston's stepson, whom she has never met but in whom she has a long-standing interest. Mr Elton returns with another newcomer--a vulgar wife who becomes part of Emma's social circle, even though the two women loathe each other. A third new character is Jane Fairfax, the reserved but beautiful niece of Emma's impoverished neighbour, the loquacious Miss Bates (another comical character who serves to lighten the scene). Jane, who is very accomplished musically, is Miss Bates's pride and joy; Emma, however, envies her talent and somewhat dislikes her. Jane had lived with Miss Bates until she was nine, but Colonel Campbell, a friend indebted to her father for seeing him through a life-threatening illness, then welcomed her into his own home, where she became fast friends with his daughter and received a first-rate education. On the marriage of Miss Campbell, Jane returned to her relations to prepare (with dread) to earn her living as a governess. In her eagerness to find some sort of fault with Jane and also to find something to amuse her in her pleasant but dull village Emma indulges in the fantasy, shared with Frank, that Jane fancied Miss Campbell's husband, Mr. Dixon, and that it is for this reason she has returned home, rather than going to Ireland to visit them. This suspicion is further fuelled by the arrival of a piano for Jane from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. The plot becomes quite complex as Emma tries to make herself fall in love with Frank simply because everyone says they make a handsome couple. Emma ultimately decides, however, that he would suit Harriet better after an episode where Frank saves her protge from a band of Gypsies. During this time, Mrs. Weston wonders if Emma's old friend Mr Knightley might have taken a fancy to Jane. Emma promptly decides that she does not want him to marry anyone, but rather than further exploring these feelings, she claims that she wants her nephew Henry to inherit the family property. When Mr. Knightley scolds Emma for a thoughtless insult to Miss Bates, she finally recognises her own shortcomings, and tries to atone. Around this time, Emma is further discomfited when she learns that Jane and Frank have been secretly engaged for almost a year. When Harriet confides that she thinks Mr. Knightley is in love with her, jealousy forces Emma to realise that she loves him herself. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Knightley proposes to Emma, Harriet reconciles with her young farmer, and everyone lives happily ever after.


Lord Byron
Lord Byron (1788-1824), English poet, who was one of the most important and versatile writers of the romantic movement (see Romanticism).


George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron, was born in London on January 22, 1788, and educated at Harrow School and the University of Cambridge. He succeeded to the title and estates of his granduncle William, 5th Baron Byron, upon William's death in 1798. Lord Byron adopted the name Noel as his third given name in 1822, in order to receive an inheritance from his mother-inlaw. In 1807 a volume of Byron's poems, Hours of Idleness, was published. An adverse review of this work in the Edinburgh Review prompted a satirical reply from Byron in heroic couplets, entitled

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809). In 1809 Byron took his seat in the House of Lords.
Also in 1809 he began two years of travel in Portugal, Spain, and Greece.



The publication in 1812 of the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a poem narrating travels in Europe, brought Byron fame. The hero of the poem, Childe Harold, was the first example of what came to be known as the Byronic hero, the young man of stormy emotions who shuns humanity and wanders through life weighed down by a sense of guilt for mysterious sins of his past. The Byronic hero is, to some extent, modeled on the life and personality of Byron himself. The type recurs in his narrative poems of the following two years, which include The Giaour (1813),

The Bride of Abydos (1813), The Corsair (1814), and Lara (1814). In 1815 his Hebrew Melodies
was published, and in the same year Byron was married to Anna Isabella Milbanke. After giving birth to a daughter, Augusta Ada, Byron's only legitimate child, Lady Byron left her husband. In 1816, Byron agreed to legal separation from his wife. Rumors about his incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta and doubts about his sanity led to his being ostracized by society. Deeply embittered, Byron left England in 1816 and never returned.



In Geneva, Byron wrote the third canto of Childe Harold and the narrative poem The Prisoner of

Chillon (1816). He next established residence in Venice, where in the three years from 1816 to
1819 he produced, among other works, the verse drama Manfred (1817), the first two cantos of

Don Juan (1818-19), and the fourth and final canto of Childe Harold (1818). For two years Byron
traveled around Italy, settling in Pisa in 1821. He wrote the verse dramas Cain and Sardanapalus and the narrative poems Mazeppa and The Island during these years. In 1822, with the poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Leigh Hunt, he started at Pisa a journal called

The Liberal, but Shelley's death that year and a quarrel with Hunt put an end to this venture after
only three issues had been printed. Don Juan, a mock epic in 16 cantos, encompasses a brilliant satire on contemporary English society. Often regarded as Byron's greatest work, it was completed in 1823. At the news of the revolt of the Greeks against the Ottoman Empire Byron, disregarding his weakened physical condition, in July 1823 joined the Greek insurgents at Mesolngion (Missolonghi). He not only recruited a regiment for the cause of Greek independence but contributed large sums of money to it. The Greeks made him commander in chief of their forces in January 1824. The poet died at Mesolngion three months later.



Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), English poet, considered by many to be among the greatest, and one of the most influential leaders of the romantic movement. Throughout his life, Shelley lived by a radically nonconformist moral code. His beliefs concerning love, marriage, revolution, and politics caused him to be considered a dangerous immoralist by some. He was born on August 4, 1792, at Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, educated at Eton College and, until his expulsion at the end of one year, the University of Oxford. With another student, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, Shelley had written and circulated a pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism (1811), of which the university authorities disapproved. He had also published a pamphlet of burlesque verse, Posthumous Fragments of Margaret Nicholson (1810). Shortly after his expulsion, the 19-year-old Shelley married his first wife, Harriet Westbrook, and moved to the Lake District of England to study and write. Two years later, he published his first long serious work, Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem (1813). The poem was one result of Shelley's friendship with the British philosopher William Godwin, expressing Godwin's freethinking Socialist philosophy. Another result of their friendship was Shelley's relationship with Godwin's daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814, after separating from his wife, Shelley briefly toured Europe with Mary. Returning to England, he produced the verse allegory Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude (1816), which anticipated his later important work. During another brief visit to the Continent in the summer of 1816, Shelley and Mary met the British poet Lord Byron. At this time, Shelley wrote two short poems, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty and Mont Blanc. In December 1816, three weeks after the body of his wife, an apparent suicide, was recovered from a lake in a London park, Shelley and Mary were married. In 1817, Shelley produced Laon and Cythna, a long narrative poem that tells a symbolic tale of revolution. It was later reissued as The Revolt of Islam (1818). At this time, he also wrote revolutionary political tracts signed The Hermit of Marlow. Then, early in 1818, he and his new wife left England for the last time. During the remaining four years of his life, Shelley produced all his major works. Traveling and living in various Italian cities, the Shelleys were friendly with the British poet Leigh Hunt and his family as well as with Byron. Shortly before his 30th birthday, Shelley was drowned (July 8, 1822) in a storm while attempting to sail from Livorno to Le Spezia, Italy. Ten days later, his body was washed ashore. Many critics regard Shelley as one of the greatest of all English poets. They point especially to his lyrics, including the familiar short odes To a Skylark (1820), To the West Wind (1819), and The Cloud (1820). Also greatly admired are the shorter love lyrics, including I arise from dreams of thee and To Constantia singing; the sonnet Ozymandias (1818); and Adonais (1821), an


elegy for the British poet John Keats, written in formal Spenserian stanzas. The effortless lyricism of these works is also evident in Shelley's verse dramas, The Cenci (1819) and Prometheus

Unbound (1820); these remain, however, profound but unproduceable closet dramas. His prose,
including a translation (1818) of The Symposium by Plato and the unfinished critical work A

Defence of Poetry (written 1821; published 1840), is equally skillful. Other critics, particularly
antiromanticists who object to the prettiness and sentimentality of much of his work, maintain that Shelley was not as influential as the other British romantic poets Byron, Keats, or William Wordsworth.

JOHN KEATS (1795-1821)

John Keats
John Keats (1795-1821), major English poet, despite his early death from tuberculosis at the age of 25. Keatss poetry describes the beauty of the natural world and art as the vehicle for his poetic imagination. His skill with poetic imagery and sound reproduces this sensuous experience for his reader. Keatss poetry evolves over his brief career from this love of nature and art into a deep compassion for humanity. He gave voice to the spirit of Romanticism in literature when he wrote, I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the hearts affections, and the truth of imagination. Twentieth-century poet T. S. Eliot judged Keats's letters to be 'the most notable and the most important ever written by any English Poet, for their acute reflections on poetry, poets, and the imagination.



Keats was born in north London, England. He was the eldest son of Thomas Keats, who worked at a livery stable, and Frances (Jennings) Keats. The couple had three other sons, one of whom died in infancy, and a daughter. Thomas Keats died in 1804, as a result of a riding accident. Frances Keats died in 1810 of tuberculosis, the disease that also took the lives of her three sons. From 1803 to 1811 Keats attended school. Toward the end of his schooling, he began to read widely and even undertook a prose translation of the Aeneid from the Latin. After he left school at the age of 16, Keats was apprenticed to a surgeon for four years. During this time his interest in poetry grew. He wrote his first poems in 1814 and passed his medical and druggist examinations in 1816.



In May 1816 Keats published his first poem, the sonnet 'O Solitude,' marking the beginning of his poetic career. In writing a sonnet, a 14-line poem with a strict rhyme scheme, Keats sought to take his place in the tradition established by great classical, European, and British epic poets. The speaker of this poem first expresses hope that, if he is to be alone, it will be in Natures


Observatory; he then imagines the highest bliss to be writing poetry in nature rather than simply observing nature. In another sonnet published the same year, 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer,' Keats compares reading translations of poetry to awe-inspiring experiences such as an astronomer discovering a new planet or explorers first seeing the Pacific Ocean. In Sleep and Poetry, a longer poem from 1816, Keats articulates the purpose of poetry as he sees it: To soothe the cares, and lift the thoughts of man. Within a year of his first publications Keats had abandoned medicine, turned exclusively to writing poetry, and entered the mainstream of contemporary English poets. By the end of 1816 he had met poet and journalist Leigh Hunt, editor of the literary magazine that published his poems. He had also met the leading romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Endymion, written between April and November 1817 and published the following year, is thought to be Keats's richest although most unpolished poem. In the poem, the mortal hero Endymion's quest for the goddess Cynthia serves as a metaphor for imaginative longingthe poets quest for a muse, or divine inspiration. Following Endymion, Keats struggled with his assumptions about the power of poetry and philosophy to affect the suffering he saw in life. In June of 1818, Keats went on a physically demanding walking tour of Englands Lake District and Scotland, perhaps in search of inspiration for an epic poem. His journey was cut short by the illness of his brother Tom. Keats returned home and nursed his brother through the final stages of tuberculosis. He threw himself into writing the epic Hyperion, he wrote to a friend, to ease himself of Toms countenance, his voice and feebleness.' An epic is a long narrative poem about a worthy hero, written in elevated language; this was the principal form used by great poets before Keats. The subject of Hyperion is the fall of the primeval Greek gods, who are dethroned by the Olympians, a newer order of gods led by Apollo. Keats used this myth to represent history as the story of how grief and misery teach humanity compassion. The poem ends with the transformation of Apollo into the god of poetry, but Keats left the poem unfinished. His abandonment of the poem suggests that Keats was ready to return to a more personal theme: the growth of a poet's mind. Keats later described the poem as showing 'false beauty proceeding from art' rather than 'the true voice of feeling.' Toms death in December 1818 may have freed Keats from the need to finish Hyperion. Two other notable developments took place in Keatss life in the latter part of 1818. First, Endymion, published in April, received negative reviews by the leading literary magazines. Second, Keats fell in love with spirited, 18-year-old Fanny Brawne. Keats's passion for Fanny Brawne is perhaps evoked in 'The Eve of St. Agnes,' written in 1819 and published in 1820. In this narrative poem, a young man follows an elaborate plan to woo his love and wins her heart. Keatss great creative outpouring came in April and May of 1819, when he composed a group of five odes. The loose formal requirements of the odea regular metrical pattern and a shift in perspective from stanza to stanzaallowed Keats to follow his minds associations. Literary critics rank these works among the greatest short poems in the English language. Each ode begins with the speaker focusing on somethinga nightingale, an urn, the goddess Psyche, the mood of melancholy, the season of autumnand arrives at his greater insight into what he values.


In Ode to a Nightingale, the nightingales song symbolizes the beauty of nature and art. Keats was fascinated by the difference between life and art: Human beings die, but the art they make lives on. The speaker in the poem tries repeatedly to use his imagination to go with the birds song, but each time he fails to completely forget himself. In the sixth stanza he suddenly remembers what death means, and the thought of it frightens him back to earth and his own humanity. In 'Ode on a Grecian Urn,' the bride and bridegroom painted on the Grecian urn do not die. Their love can never fade, but neither can they kiss and embrace. At the end of the poem, the speaker sees the world of art as cold rather than inviting. The last two odes, 'Ode on Melancholy' and 'To Autumn, show a turn in Keatss ideas about life and art. He celebrates breathing human passion as more beautiful than either art or nature. Keats never lived to write the poetry of 'the agonies, the strife of human hearts' to which he aspired. Some scholars suggest that his revision of Hyperion, close to the end of his life, measures what he learned about poetry. In the revision, 'The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream,' Keats boldly makes the earlier poem into the story of his own quest as poet. In a dream, the poems speaker must pass through death to enter a temple that receives only those who cannot forget the miseries of the world. Presiding over the shrine is Moneta, a prophetess whose face embodies many of the opposites that had long haunted Keatss imaginationdeath and immortality, stasis and change, humankinds goodness and darkness. The knowledge Moneta gives him defines Keatss new mission and burden as a poet. After September 1819, Keats produced little poetry. His money troubles, always pressing, became severe. Keats and Fanny Brawne became engaged, but with little prospect of marriage. In February 1820, Keats had a severe hemorrhage and coughed up blood, beginning a year that he called his posthumous existence. He did manage to prepare a third volume of poems for the press, Lamia,

Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems.

In September 1820, Keats sailed to Italy, accompanied by a close friend. The last months of his life there were haunted by the prospect of death and the memory of Fanny Brawne.

MARY W. SHELLEY (1797-1851)

Frankenstein Published 1818 I ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was the daughter of two illustrious parents, William Godwin, a pioneer of philosophical radicalism, and Mary Wollstonecraft, whose A Vindication of the Rights of Women launched the feminist movement. Mary was born August 30, 1797; her mother died eleven days later. Raised by her father and his second wife Mary Jane Clairmont, Mary met the elite of England's intellectuals including Erasmus Darwin, Charles Lamb, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and eventually, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley was already married, but a year and a half after his first meeting Mary, they scandalized society by eloping to France in July 1814. Their eight-year relationship (they married after Shelley's wife committed suicide in 1816) produced four children, only one of whom survived. Her husband drowned July 8, 1822, and Mary dedicated the rest of her life to caring for their son Percy,


editing her husband's works and doing her own writing. Her works include History of a Six Weeks' Tour (1817), a journal written jointly with her husband, Frankenstein (1818), Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), Perkin Warbeck (1830), Lodore (1835), Falkner (1837), and Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844). She died February 1, 1851. The impetus for Frankenstein came on a stormy night in 1816 while Mary, then eighteen, was a guest at the poet Lord Byron's Villa Diodati near the Swiss Alps. Byron began the night's entertainment by reading from a book of ghost tales and then reciting Coleridge's poem 'Christabel.' He next proposed that each of those present compose a ghost story. Although the others in the party quickly came up with ideas, Mary could not think of any. Then, finally, a few nights later, a vision appeared. Mary described it as follows: I sawwith shut eyes, but acute mental visionI saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some power engine show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful it must be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. She began to write Frankenstein the next day. II OVERVIEW Few works of fiction have captured the public's imagination as Frankenstein has. Several plays, numerous movies, television shows, and even comic strips have been based on it, and generations of children have dressed up as the monster for Halloween. Although originally published over 150 years ago, the book is still in print in almost every major language. According to Janet Harris, 'since the first year of its publication there has always been, somewhere in the world, a printing press at work turning out still another copy or version of Mary's immortal story.' The monster indeed has a life of his own apart from the book, as perhaps only Sherlock Holmes and Scrooge out of all the characters originally in novels do. Each generation adds its own characteristics to the monster. Some scholars have identified Frankenstein as the source of the genre of science fiction, which seeks to define the place of man in the universe. Both the idea of a 'mad scientist' and the concept of creating a person in a laboratory originated with Frankenstein. Following Mary Shelley's lead, authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, H. G. Wells, and, more recently, Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury have created horror stories whose protagonists face problems brought about by science gone awry. Frankenstein is also a product of its time, the early 19th century, a world of social, political, scientific, and economic upheaval. On the one hand, the novel emphasizes the importance of the intellect in seeking out the secrets of the universe (rationalism). Yet it also validates the emotions and the importance of individual needs (romanticism). Aside from its historical interest, why does Frankenstein continue to be so popular, and what does it say to us today? For one thing, at the heart of the novel is a question about science and its relationship to humanity. Does science always act for the good of man, or does it have a dark side? Does man have the right or the power and intellect to act as a creator or God? Mary Shelley's answer seems to be that science and progress are ethically neutral with the capacity to work for either good or evil. Science thus presents humans with the enormous challenge to handle its power responsibly and humanely. III SETTING The setting of the novel ranges all over Europe, emphasizing places with which Shelley herself was familiar: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, and even the Arctic. The tale begins and ends in the Arctic with the explorer Robert Walton seeking a northwest passage. On his journey he first meets Victor Frankenstein and then the monster himself. The arctic atmosphere itself is a fitting symbol for the scientific enterprise 34

on which Frankenstein has embarked and Walton is embarking. The landscape is barren and white: it is human beings who turn the landscape and scientific creation into colorful creation or black horror. As Dr. Frankenstein lies dying, he recounts his history to Walton. When he speaks of his home in Geneva by a blue lake and snowy mountains, his description is filled with warmth, light, and love. At age seventeen Frankenstein became a student at the University of Ingolstadt, in upper Bavaria, where he later creates his monster. Frankenstein recoils from his creation, and the monster flees. The rest of the novel follows the theme of pursuit and thus ranges over Europe. Frankenstein has a nervous breakdown and returns to the peacefulness of home. To cure his despair, he wanders on one occasion to the valley of Chamounix. Here, he meets the monster again. Shelley's descriptive powers heighten whenever she presents the monster against a background of sublime and terrifying nature. Frankenstein is mountain climbing across a 'troubled sea' of ice (prophetic of the setting at the end of the novel) when the monster bounds toward him over the ice crevices. As the monster tells of his adventures since his creation, the scene shifts to Germany and the humble cottage of the De Laceys, whom the monster has watched to learn how people act and talk. After promising to make a mate for the monster, Frankenstein plans a trip to England with his friend Clerval. On their way they travel leisurely on the Rhine. From London they travel north to Edinburgh, where they separate. All the time the monster has been following them. Frankenstein goes to a remote Orkney Island to create his female monster. In desolate surroundings the monster again appears and vows revenge when Frankenstein destroys the female creature. Frankenstein goes sailing to get rid of the female body parts, and his boat is blown off course to Ireland. There he is accused of his friend Clerval's murder and is thrown into prison, where he again has a mental collapse. Released into his father's custody, he returns to Geneva, but this time the powers of home fail to heal. The monster takes his complete revenge, and Frankenstein vows to follow him until he can rid the world of the fiend he has created. The pursued becomes the pursuer. IV THEMES AND CHARACTERS Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant, rational, and self-centered man who comes to understand the importance of friendship, family, and love. His monster is brutal and destructive but also rational and eloquent and longs for affection and companionship. Although these two at times seem antithetical, their characters also complement one another. Frankenstein's creation of the monster is a supreme rational and imaginative effort, as he himself explains: 'My imagination was vivid, yet my powers of analysis and application were intense; by the union of these qualities I conceived the idea and executed the creation of a man.' After the monster's creation, the union between Frankenstein's imagination and intellect disintegrates. Like Hamlet, he is plagued by doubt and inaction: he decides to destroy the monster yet pities him; he decides to make a female monster but destroys her; he knows the monster is plotting revenge, but mistakenly assumes he is the target. The monster, too, is a strange combination of unbalanced intellect and emotion. As the product of Frankenstein's reason, he represents reason in isolation. Yet, he tells Walton, 'my heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy.' When first the De Laceys reject him in horror and then Frankenstein refuses him any kind of companionship, the monster's tender emotions turn to poisoned selfishness and envy. Even revenge brings him only frustration and misery, 'wasting in impotent passions.' While the monster destroys Frankenstein's hopes, he does not satisfy his own desires. Besides the unresolvable clash between intellect and emotions, analysis and imagination, Shelley's Frankenstein bears other traces of Romantic thought, though questioned rather than wholly accepted. Nature with its variety for the Romantics provided a source of wonder and a


source of healing for man. In his deepest distress Frankenstein seeks to draw vitality from his surroundings. His fiance Elizabeth encourages him, ' the clouds...render this scene of beauty still more interesting. Look also at the innumerable fish that are swimming in the clear waters...What a divine day! How happy and serene all nature appears!' Yet nature's joys are impermanent. Just when the mountains cause Frankenstein's heart to swell with joy, the monster appears; just after Elizabeth has enjoyed the clouds and clear water, the fiend murders her. Nature is at best apathetic to man: it destroys as well as preserves, creates lightning as well as sunshine. V LITERARY QUALITIES Shelley uses an important literary techniquethe story-within-a-story-within-a-story. Walton tells the whole story of Frankenstein and his monster as related to him by Frankenstein, with the addition of his own meeting with the monster after Frankenstein's death within the context of his arctic exploration. Within Frankenstein's account is the monster's own tale of what he did after fleeing from Frankenstein: how he watched the De Laceys and came to understand human speech, emotion, and history. Each of the stories presents comparisons and contrasts to the others. For example, Walton's exploration of the Arctic is a scientific discovery similar to Frankenstein's creation of the monster, but Walton's expedition fails when his men force him to turn back, whereas Frankenstein does succeed in creating the monster, although the results are questionable. In addition to having the stories play off one another, Shelley uses the characters to play off one another. Walton, for instance, feels much sympathy for Frankenstein but resembles the monster. He, too, longs for companionshiphe has 'no one to participate [in] my sustain me in dejection.' When Frankenstein dies, Walton loses both his dreams of friendship and his dream of discovery. Another literary technique which Shelley uses to give greater depth to her story is literary allusion. Frankenstein is subtitled 'The Modern Prometheus,' an allusion to the Greek god Prometheus who championed humankind and brought fire to it. Prometheus's kindness toward humanity, however, has a backlash: humans are alienated from heaven. Frankenstein is a modern Prometheus in that, striving against human limitations to bring light to people, he creates a human-like creature but alienates himself from his creation once he sees it can never fit into humanity. Another important literary allusion in Frankenstein is to Paradise Lost. The book is introduced by three lines from Paradise Lost, and Paradise Lost is one of the three books which the monster reads and on which he founds his beliefs about the cosmos. He sees himself as both Adam and Satanalone like Adam before Eve, yet bitter like Satan viewing the bliss of God. From these and other uses of literary allusion, Shelley makes her story much more than a horror story of a mad doctor and his monster; it is a creation story of profound frustration, alienation and responsibility with resonances of ancient Greek and Christian thought. VI SOCIAL SENSITIVITY In a tale of a murderous and revengeful monster, there are, of course, scenes of violence and terror; three murders, an execution and a cottage burned by arson, as well as three more deaths. Like classical Greek dramatists, Shelley to some extent mitigates the horror of these scenes by having the violence take place 'offstage.' That is, she never directly presents the monster strangling his victims. In each case she describes how the body is found and the sorrow the family members, friends, and community feel at the death. She emphasizes the grief rather than the grisly details of the murder or the horrible condition of the body. In no sense does she linger over gory details. The monster's victims are all innocent. If the monster had killed only his creator for cruelly abandoning him, the reader's judgment of the monster


might be less harsh. The impact of the violence is further diminished because Frankenstein is reporting to Walton each murder long after the deed was done.