Romantics and the Era of Early Flight
This book explores the significance of flight to Romantic literature. Although the Romantic movement and the age of ballooning coincided, there has been a curious and long-time tendency to forget that flight was not impossible during this period. This study details the importance of this new technology to Romantic authors, primarily English Romantic poets. It combines accounts of the exploits and experiences of early balloonists with references to Romantic texts, using ballooning lore to illuminate a range of Romantic writings. The balloonists are seen as not just supplying these writers with a new code of metaphors, but as colleagues engaged in similarly imaginative enterprises. The book uncovers an 'aerial imagination' shared by a large number of writers in the Romantic period that has its origins in the balloon adventures of the 1780s and following two decades. It will appeal to scholars and students of Romantic cultural history, as well as those interested in Romantic poetry and the history of early aeronautics.
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