Notable Reading

  • Tim Blanning, The Romantic Revolution: A History (Modern Library, 2010)—An outstanding overview of the early 19th-century cultural movement known as romanticism. A writer at the height of his craft, Blanning casts a wide net, surveying a huge corpus of art, literature, and music both in England and the continent, but creates an astonishingly tight and compelling account in a mere 200 pages. Blanning’s history surely trumps M. H. Abram’s 1971 classic The Mirror and the Lamp in its accessibility and scope. It reminded me why I became so fond of the “long eighteenth century” (from which the romantics emerged), and it left me eager to dig into Blanning’s ambitious The Pursuit of Glory.

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