- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: W&N (27 Oct. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753828650
- ISBN-13: 978-0753828656
- Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 1.9 x 17.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Romantic Revolution Paperback – 27 Oct 2011
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Splendidly provocative (Dominic Sandbrook SUNDAY TIMES)
Music, art, literature and politics are interwoven with assured erudition and clarity (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
The pan-European sweep of this concise, absorbing study takes the reader far beyond the familiar home-grown poets. (INDEPENDENT)
Vivid, readable ... This brief survey is an elegant introduction to the emergence of an outlook that was revolutionary but is now the norm. (Judith Rice GUARDIAN)
Wide-ranging and expertly researched ... a thought provoking study (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
A compelling and persuasive account of how the Romantic Movement permanently changed the way we see things and express ourselves.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In the introduction Blanning argues that, besides the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, the Romantic Revolution was as (if not more) important, and just as radical and far-reaching. He then sets out to prove his point in a very logical framework. Chapter I ('the crisis of the age of reason') deals with the beginnings of romanticism, the radical shift it caused from a mimetic to an expressive aesthetic, how it led to the cult of the artist genius (which is still very much alive today), and these same artists' dual relation with their public.
In chapter II ('the dark side of the moon') he covers the romantics' fascination with all aspects of the human experience so alien to the Enlightenment: dreams and nightmares, madness, the 'wonder-world of the night'. In chapter III ('language, history and myth') he turns his attention to how romanticism sparked a renewed interest in (national) history, folk tales and folk lore, and how each nation searched (and found, if necessary using forgeries) their own 'golden age, often set in medieval times.Read more ›
In his short last chapter Blanning deals with the apparent death of Romanticism as Realism in art and literature took over and materialism asserted itself - but that death was only apparent; and the reaction to that world took the form of the neo-Romanticism of Symbolism, and of a new romantic obsession with death and night and sex. Blanning shows that even thereafter the swing of the pendulum (he sees it as dialectical development - I prefer to see it as co-existence) had not come to a end.
Blanning has packed an enormous amount into his short space, and it is only the last thirty pages or so which I thought were a little too hectic.
For the romantic movement is more than just an artistic movement, even though it covered the major forms of art: music, literature and painting. Many of the causes of its spread were due to new structures, institutions and technologies. Romantic music was spawned in part by the change from patronage to public support for musicians, both in performance and in publication, and to performances both in concert halls and in salons. Literature spread through the many changes in technology that made printing and books cheaper. And images circulated in the form of lithographs and other types of prints that were developed in the early 19th century.
Romanticism is, at heart, about the imagination, about feeling, about art for art’s sake, about the individual being the most important element in the world. Beethoven is the best example of the romantic artist, with Schubert a close second. But romanticism had many forms, from the near-transcendence of Beethoven’s late works, or of Schubert’s finest songs, to the development of characters in literature, such as in Hugo and Balzac. The rise of tourism – notably to the Alps and the Rhine – led to a new appreciation of nature, and a discovery of other lands and worlds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
came before I expected it, said it was slightly damaged when it wasn't at all. Very good.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Although “by its nature, romanticism does not lend itself to precise definition”, this is a coherent and very readable introduction. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Antenna
An easy-to-read introduction to the romantic movement and the prevailing culture of the time period in question. Just enough detail to whet the appetite.Published on 6 July 2014 by gd
Again an excellent book by Britain's bestest historian Tim Blanning. A very compact (186 pages) overview of how good art degenerated into bad art at the close of the 18th century. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by M. Baerends
"The Romantic Revolution" is after "Pursuit of Glory", Tim Blanning's second book that blew me away. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2014 by Basileus
This book is good but does not explore in any real depth, however a good supplement to denser tomes on the period.Published on 1 July 2013 by Tosca
The author sets out the basic tension between Classicism and Romanticism clearly. He shows the period's on-going influence on our ideas of and reactions to art and artists. Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2011 by John H. Turner
The best thing about this book is its length. For a history book by a professional historian, it is laudably short. The book gets its points across clearly and with precision. Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2010 by Tufnell Paul