Jane Austen

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How did Romanticism influence Jane Austen?

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When we think of Romanticism in terms of literature, we typically think of the British Romantic poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley. These writers published their poetry in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The defining characteristics of Romantic poetry include an emphasis on the imagination and individuality. Romantics were writing partly in response to the previous Age of Reason, so they also embraced the supernatural, the mysterious, the mystical. In the United States, a little later in the 19th century, writers like Hawthorne and Poe similarly wrote in modes that could take the reader beyond the literal, physical world that surrounded them. Hawthorne even wrote a definition of romanticism in a preface to his novel The House of the Seven Gables, in which he says the following:

[a romance]—while, as a work of art, it must rigidly subject itself to laws, and while it sins unpardonably so far as it may swerve aside from the truth of the human heart—has fairly...

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