Brief, manageable, and affordable, the books in the Contexts series fill the gap in students' knowledge of the historical facts, literary associations, and wider cultural climate of the main literary periods. As well as offering a background in relevant social history, these texts include selected extracts from original documents to give a full flavour of the period in question.
The Romantic period was a turbulent time in which England changed from a primarily agricultural society to a modern industrial nation. The French Revolution, economic cycles of inflation and depression, and an enlarged and increasingly restless working class, created circumstances for profound social and political change. Looking at poetry and fiction against the "spirit of the age," this book discusses issues of science and art, psychology and the supernatural, revolutionary politics and social vision, satire and morality, and at the same time provides an introduction to the work of Austen, Blake, Burns, Byron, Keats, Radcliffe, Shelley, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Wordsworth.