A Revolution in Poetry: Wordsworth and Coleridge, 1798

Franke Institute (Regenstein Library)

For several years near the end of the eighteenth century, two talented English writers became neighbors, traveling companions, and most importantly, collaborators in a project to reform the ills of English culture in the age of the French Revolution. Their chosen means? Poetry--ballad poetry. The result was the transformative volume, Lyrical Ballads. We will look at what they thought they were doing, what they wrote, and what changes they effected. We'll pay some attention to Wordsworth's famous Preface about the woes of contemporary society.