Literature of the Romantic Period | Free Online Course | Alison

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Diploma in English Literature of the Romantic Period

This free online course on English literature of the Romantic period includes contexts, themes, trends and criticism.

Free Course
The Romantic period in England lasted between the 1790s and 1850s. This free online course discusses literature of the era and includes various contexts, themes, trends and critical analyses of the works of prominent writers and poets of the time, such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Blake, Austen and Felicia Hemans.
  • Duration

    15-20 Hours
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What were the contexts, themes and trends that dominated the English cultural and literary scene in the Romantic period? In this free course, you will take a close look at the fiction and poetry written during the era and learn how critics have analyzed them. You will examine the different genres of fiction - especially the historical, gothic and the ‘woman's novel’ - and delve into the minds of the most famous writers to understand their views on literature, society and politics. Then, you will learn about the literature of ‘sensibility’ and ‘passion’ with specific reference to the verse of prominent poets such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Blake.

You will be taught, not only the key aesthetic strategies employed by the Romantics in both art and literature, but also the politics of those aesthetics. Learn about the concept of ‘Romantic Orientalism’ that emerged in the works of the chief Romantic authors. You will see how they stereotyped the cultural 'Other,' betraying a social anxiety about a perceived threat from the East. This course provides valuable insights into the minds of great English poets and authors such as Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Jane Austen and Felicia Hemans, a slightly lesser-known poet whose work with especially popular with female readers. Unravel their concept of ‘sensibility’ (or sensitivity to others for a better moral understanding) and their responses to Nature, the environment, the French Revolution, slavery and imperialism.

Finally, you will be able to critically examine the aesthetics, politics, sensibilities as well as Orientalism in their essays, fiction and poetry. You will see how the politics of the period, including imperialism, race, class, gender, slavery and environmentalism, is reflected in the poetry of Wordsworth, Shelley, John Clare and others. Start this free course today and enrich your knowledge of one of the most interesting periods of English literature and history.

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Backgrounds to the English Romantics, 1798-1832

Influences on the English Romantics

Romantic Fiction

Romantic Poetry

Diploma in English Literature of the Romantic Period - First Assessment

Nature and Environment in English Romantic Literature

Aesthetics in Romantic Poetry

Politics and Romantic Poetry

The Empire and Orientalism in Romantic Literature

Diploma in English Literature of the Romantic Period - Second Assessment

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Describe the general trends in the depiction of Nature and the environment
  • Identify the most common theme underlying the fiction of the different genres of the Romantic period
  • Distinguish between the views of the literary critics of the Romantic period with respect to the poet and the language of poetry
  • Discuss the characteristics of the historical and the gothic novels
  • Compare the works of the most prominent poets of the Romantic era
  • Discuss the importance of 'sensibility' and 'passion' in Romantic poetry
  • Analyze how the English Romantic authors dealt with the environment and Nature
  • Describe the two key aesthetic strategies of the Romantic period in visual arts and literature
  • Recognize the aesthetic styles of the famous paintings by distinguished artists of the Romantic period
  • Discuss gender and class politics 


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