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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION England, at the beginning of 18th century was still an agricultural country; and agriculture was the

main occupation of people. A farge part of the land was still farmed in the old open-field system, which had existed since Saxon times. In some counties, only, such as Kent, Surrey, Sussex, there were farms in the modern manner had been created. In the rest of England there were just open fields, without fences. Spinning and cloth-making were also important activities at the beginning of 18th century and they were carried on in the country, where people made the home-spun woollen clothes in their own cottages. Two important changes took place in the second half of 18th century. These two changes were the enclosures of the common fields and the introduction of power-driven machines. The Enclosures of 18th century were accompanied by a revolution in the old method of farming, which were considered inefficient. Jethro Tull, a pioneer of scientific farming, invented a machine for sowing seeds, called drill. Rotation of crops was introduced by Lord Townsend and improvements came in the breeding of sheep and cattle. As a result of this, the old system of English agriculture began to collapse. To bring in the new methods, it was necessary to abolish the old strip-system. So, during the second half of 18th century, common fields were enclosed to make compact and large farms. Enclosures were of two kinds: I) Enclosure of the waste land, which was put under cultivation 2) enclosure of the open fields, splitting it up into modern farms, divided by hedges. When the land was re-divided, many poor people were unable to show their legal right on a strip of it, which had usually been determined by village custom and often they could not pay for the cost of hedging; in both cases they lost their land. The new system of farming was certainly more efficient and produced better results, but involved, on the other hand, great distress for the villagers. The loss of their land drove many villagers into the towns to get their living and seek fortune in the new industries. A large part of the population moved, then, from the countryside to the urban areas. And this was probably the greatest change in English history. Industrialisation certainly could not have occurred(verific) without the technical innovations and discoveries; the coming of machinery opened a new phase in the history of human occupations. The first inventions were applied to the old woollen industries and to the new manufacture of cotton. This invention led to the gradual disappearance of the hand-loom and to the adoption of the power loom. steam engine. Later came the spinning jenny and the self-acting mule to improve the textile industry. In 1785 one of Watt's steam engine was first used in a cotton mill. Cotton trade had grown to a great rate(velocit di passo) and was to grow still more in the future. the coming of machinery coincided with an improvement in the means of transport. 18the century saw the rapid expansion of the canal system, the building of railways and the improvement of the road system. The change from the old to the new England coincided with a remarkable increase in the population. From 1750 to 1850 the population of Britain nearly doubled. Hygiene conditions were better. It is also possible that the new urban workers married earlier and had larger families. During half century a lot of people emigrated from the south to the Midlands and the north, which were for a long time the most important manufacturing areas in the world. The "towns of the Industrial Revolution were large depressing slums, built without regard to sanitation, where houses lacked light, air and often decency.. Conditions of labour were not better: people worked up to sixteen hours a day, earning very low wages. Women and children were employed in large numbers, because their labour was cheaper than that of men. Trade with America grew rapidly; British imported American cotton and exported manufactured goods. Britain soon captured the trade of the world, West as well as East. So it came about that England was at least half a century ahead of the rest of Europe in applying machinery to manufactures. The men who made the business world of modern industry that business was to be given a completely free hand and that the State was to abandon its right to regulate trade; the state was not to interfere in business The man who more than anyone else was responsible for this theory was Adam Smith. With his book "The Weaith of Nations" he became the prophet of Free Trade, holding that(ritenendo che) all government interference is harmful(dannoso) trade. HISTORICAL CONTEXT In 1789 Europe was shaken by the French Revolution. This extraordinary event was first greeted with enthusiasm in Britain, where poets and intellectuals saw it as the triumph of truth and light. The Prime Minister William Pitt at first had an unemotional attitude (atteggiamento impassibile) to the Revolution, and continued his policy of financial reform reducing corruption, increasing the efficiency of the civil service, and also, he taxed luxuries like carriages, clocks and servants. Pitt believed that free trade would be highly profitable to Britain because it exported more than the other European countries; accepting an idea of the economist Adam Smith he tried to abolish import duties and in 1786 he signed a commercial treaty( trattato) with France. The impact of revolutionary fervour on the British people was great. Poor people were angry about low wages, high food prices, and enclosures, and the unrest grew worse with the spreading of the new ideas. To prevent the spread(diffusione) of revolutionary feelings, Pitt acted drastically and imposed restrictive measures such as the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. The repression was particularly fierce against the radical organisations. In 1793 France declared war; here the British naval power played an essential role: under the leadership of Admiral Horatio Nelson, important naval victories improved Britain's position, and in 1798 the French fleet was annihilated(annientata) at the battle of the Nile. Napoleon's aim was the conquest of Europe; he planned to destroy the British navy and then invade Britain, but Nelson's great victory at Trafalgar relieved the pressure on Britain. Despite this defeat, Napoleon won important victories on land against the Austrians and the Russians, and tried to destroy Britain's economic power by isolating it from the continent, declaring the British Isles to be blockaded, but the superior strength of the British economy saved the country. Napoleon was finally defeated by

Wellington at Waterloo. Britain emerged from the Napoleonic wars with strengthened power. Peace was signed at the congress of Vienna on November 20,1815. After this date Britain withdrew(ritir) from active interference on the continent to a position of relative neutrality,owing to (dovuto a ) its world-wide economic interests. At this time the Prince of Wales was made Prince Regent in 1811 but the situations didnt changed,infact,Public unrest was made worst by the new Corn Law of 1815 which put a high duty on imported corn. Riots and disturbances continued, which culminated in the tragedy of 1819, when a crowd of 60,000 people were charged by mounted soldiers in St Peter's Fields, Manchester. The episode was called "Peterloo Massacre". In the early 1820s a new spirit of improvement began to influence politics and legislation: the Corn Law was modified, trade unions(sindacati) were legalised in 1824. The Catholic Emancipation Act (1829) gave Catholics the right to sit in Parliament. The policy framework was composed by the Whigs, the Tories and the Radicals. The Radicals advocated social and electoral reform, most Tories wanted no change in the parliamentary system, and the Whigs were in favour of moderate change. The climax in political reform came in 1832, when the famous Reform Bill was passed, It enlarged the right to vote and restructured representation in Parliament. A series of reforms were made in this period. Parliament had stopped the slave trade in 1807, and in 1833 slaves in the British colonies were set free. Little by little laws were introduced to stop children from working more than twelve hours a day. The prison system was also reformed, and the number of crimes punishable by death was reduced. In 1829 Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police Force. Policemen were called Bobbies after his name. THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT Romanticism can be seen as a useful label(etichetta) which literary critics used later on to describe the new artistic and intellectual climate that had developed between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth. The word "romantic" comes from the French "romantique", which means tale (racconti). In the middle of the eighteenth century it began to be used in connection with feelings, emotions and states of mind like melancholy and loneliness. Towards the end of the eighteenth century in Europe there was a romantic awakening, In this context, it is necessary to mention the works of the French philosopher and writer Jean Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau affirmed that society and civilised behavior(comportamenti) are bad whereas nature and natural behaviour are good. From this opposition arose his idealised notion of the "noble savage", who is good, free and happy because he is in contact with nature, and the idea that the child is uncorrupted by civilization. This new approach to nature strongly influenced the young German writers grouped under the Sturm und Drang heading. these writers emphasised the 'uniqueness1 and fundamental freedom of the individual and emphasised his creative powers. Another important influence is that of German idealism. These writers emphasised the uniqueness(unicit) and fundamental freedom of the individual and emphasised his creative powers. Another important influence is that of German idealism. These philosophers voiced the aspiration towards the Absolute or the Infinite, beyond the limits imposed by reason. The strongest manifestation of the Absolute was expressed in art. Within this web of overlapping and interweaving influences, romantic sensibility spread all over Europe. In spite of Rousseau's fundamental influence, the Romantic Movement was to develop rather late in France, due to the persistence of the neo-classical tradition. Similarly, in Italy the Romantic Movement emerged comparatively late, because Italian literature was deeply rooted in the classical tradition. ENGLISH ROMANTICISM The Lyrical Ballads created a shift from the precise, accurate and balanced reflection of universal truths to the intense, emotional projection of individual feelings from the objective and impersonal observation of reality to its subjective and personal contemplation. Both the subject-matter and the form of poetry changed radically, the Preface is commonly regarded as the manifesto of Romanticism. It presented the revival of creative originality; the poets aimed to move poetry towards the language of everyday speech, and the natural world provided the dominant subject-matter. The French Revolution was hailed(fu inquadrata come) as a chance to stir(smuovere) the individual consciousness to new values and ideals for the advance and welfare of all people. The organic society of small towns and villages where everybody knew his neighbour was being replaced by new urban industrialised centres where individuals lost their identity. Artists began to look for ways to escape from a reality that did not satisfy their new aspirations. The Romantic poets began to give the greatest value to individual consciousness. They saw man essentially in the solitary state; they exalted the unusual, the strange, and revered the outcast and the rebel. Romantic poetry often presents the figure of the solitary: the poet is alone, or feels lonely, in many of Wordsworth's poems. The imagination trasmormed the artist from a mirror just a recorder of events into a lamp, an active creator. The widespread desire to escape from reality led to the re-evaluation of the Middle Ages, seen as the roots of culture. people began appreciating old stories, 'folk teles' and ballads. The English romantic poets are usually divided into two generations. The first generation includes William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge; the second, George Gordon Byron,Shelley and Keats. The poets of the first generation were united in their enthusiasm for the French Revolution. They were often critical in their views of contemporary society but never opposed it openly. There are many features in common between the first and the second generation: the concept of the role of the poet, the emphasis on the cognitive power of the imagination, individualism, the aspiration to the Infinite or the Absolute. But with the second generation there was a return to more complex forms of versification, the language became richer, and many poems showed a new interest in the world of ancient Greece. WORDSWORTH "Lyrical Ballads" were planned with Coleridge when Wordsworth was living at Racedown

with his sister. The volume appeared the following year (1798). Wordsworth tried to explain what he was doing in a brief "advertisement" in which he explained that these poems were published as experiments, thus warning the readers that the poems in "The Lyrical Ballads" might frustrate any expectations the reader had for the usual kind of decorative poetry. In 1800 W. wrote the famous "Preface" in which he developed his view of the nature of the poetic process , the origin and purpose of poetry and the language most suitable for it. This Preface is considered the manifesto of English Romanticism. He will write his poems about incidents and situations from common life. He will try to transform these incidents and situations by his imagination. He will try to trace through these humble incidents the essence of humanity. He will try to write his poems in the kind of language that comes naturally to people in normal conversation. Because of all these objectives, W. chose humble and rustic life as the subject matter of his poems. Men in countryside live in close contact with nature and lead a simple life. The primary laws of mankind can be traced through their uncomplicated, uncorrupted lives. Moreover, the language they use is plain and simple. W. is obviously trying to advocate simplicity and sincerity of thought and language as values essential to good poetry. W. affirms in the Preface that every poem of his has a moral or a purpose. The actions and the situations in his poems are not important in themselves. It is the poet's feeling for this subject matter that gives it significance. As for as poetic style is concerned(per quanto riguarda lo stile poetico concentrato nel), in his Preface, W. tells his readers that his poetry will be free of personifications because they do not occur in the language really used by men. W. I s obviously reacting against the artificial style of late 18th century poetry affirming that no word is more poetical than any other word. WHAT IS A POET? Unlike(a differenza) so many European Romantics W. does not see the poet as a man aside(distaccato) from the rest of humanity by his talent and calling. He is a man speaking to men. The artist is more fully "human" than his contemporaries because what is potential and latent in them is actualized and fulfilled in him. He is more sensitive than other men and his soul is more comprehensive and joyful. The main function of the poet is to pierce through the surface of things in order to get at their essence. WHAT IS POETRY? Is something that link toghether intellect and passion embracing fact and feeling, it is the centre of all knowledge. The mood in which poetry is written is not just emotion, but contemplated emotion. It is not just remembrance W. is talking about, but rather a maturing contemplation of the elements of reality in their uniqueness and then a reunion of them into a more meaningful unity(significativa unit). The process is not instantaneous, The process of poetry writing is the following: sensory experience- emotion-recollection in tranquillity- contemplation of emotionproduction of a kindred emotion- poetry. Wordsworth was the poet of Nature: he showed how the world of nature can feed(alimentare) the poet's mind with passions purer than those created by the sight of great towns and the complex life of civilisation. He became the poet of men and women , but of men living under the eye and in the presence of nature. The influence of nature on man is one of Wordsworth's fundamental themes. Nature is seen in many aspects. At his deepest, it is seen as being related to man by the ultimate unity of the universe, as possessing a mystical bond(legame) with man's spirit, as a moral guide, developing and extending human being's awareness(consapevolezza). the aspect of unity should be closely kept in mind, man, stars, lakes , flowers are part of a total order. HIS STYLE Wordsworth became a master of all forms of poetry. Much of Wordswoth's best poetry is written in blank verse(versi sciolti), but he also had a fine sense of rhythm and rhyme. His language was carefully chosen and integrated. Images are widely(largamente) used in his poetry and many of them derive from the natural world. As with all great poetry, form and content are indivisible in his poems : the ideas are embodied in the language just as the language reflect the ideas within it (allinterno di esso).MY HEART LEAPS UP(Wordsworth) It is remarkable how many of Wordsworth's poems deal with the relationship of child to the world, and consequently, with the relationship of the adult to the child, and through the child, the relationship of the adult to nature. Most simply, the poem says that the poet is thrilled when he sees a rainbow; he was thrilled in his youth when he saw one; he will continue to be thrilled when he grows old; if it cannot be so then, he would prefer to be dead. The Child is father of the Man". The poem tries to teach man to remain as much like the child as he can in the child's purity and simplicity of heart, trying to retain the vivid imaginative perception that belongs to the child. What Wordsworth implies here is that man's life is significant because there is a continuity through the process of memory. The child has far more to teach the adult about seeing the world than the adult could ever have to teach the child in fact whatever the adult taught the child would be damaging to the child's vision. Love for nature and faith in it seem, according to Wordsworth, to link together the different stages of human life. SHE DWELT AMOG THE UNTRODDEN WAYS (solitarie strade)(Wordsworth) This poem belongs(appartiene) to the "Lucy poems", five pieces elegiac in tone. There have been many suggestions as to the real identity of Lucy. One of the favourite identifications has been Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy. It has also been suggested that Lucy is Mary Hutchinson, Wordsworth's future life or Annette Vallon , the French woman who gave him a daughter or a young girl Mary, about whom Wordsworth wrote>some poems in his youth. Alternatively, it has been suggested that Lucy is a symbol for England, illustrating the deep homeskness(nostalgia) felt by Wordsworth at this time What we do know for certain is that Lucy has a special, close relationship with nature . is a poem of three stanzas of four lines each. The first tells how Lucy lived in a remote area where there was no one to love or praise her.

In the second stanza she is compared to a violet, which suggests her frailty, delicacy , but also her secluded life; then she is compared to a solitary star, more brilliant in the sky just because of its aloneness. The third stanza , tells us that Lucy has died and this makes a difference for the poet. But Lucy , in spite of her delicacy, has got a kind of strength. Living in close contact with nature, she is , virtually, nature itself and, therefore, indestructible. Literally people did not know when she died because of her rustic retirement, but, in a profounder sense, her death was not noticed because she lived so close to nature that she was nearly absorbed in it, in life also. THE SOLITARY REAPER (Wordsworth)The poem is about the song the poet has hears a Highland girl sing. In the first stanza, he tells us that shw overflows the valley with her music that is a melancholy tune that she sings while is cutting and binding grain. In the second stanza the poet compared the song to the sweetness of the nightingales(usignolo) song and the reapers voice is compared to the cuckoo-bird. IN THE THIRD STANZA THE SUBJECT OF THE REAPERS SONG IS CONTEMPLATED: THE POET DOESNT SAY WHAT IS THE POEM ABOUT, HE SUGGESTS THEMES LIKE PAST EVENTS, BUT THE ONLY CERTAIN THING THAT WE KNOW IS THAT THE SONG IS SAND AND MELANCHOLY. The last stanza contains the poets response to the song: The important fact about the music he heard is that it involved (coinvolse) his imagination so much that he thought it eternal, and finds it still echoing in his mind. W. in this poem takes ordinary, everyday experience but tries to make it interesting and extraordinary by using allusion such as the distant sands, the farthest Hebrides, which create an atmosphere of mystery. We know nothing about the reapers real feelings. The poets intention is to draw the readers into the mystery that he has experienced. We as readers should be engaged (impegnati) into the same mystery. The few details given are to provoke our imagination so that we will continue the imaginative flow that the poet has experienced. The poem has the form of ballads, but it is a lyrical ballad because it combines lyrical feeling with the objectivity of the ballads. The reaper is completely merged(fusa) with the nature she works within.