Study Guide

Romanticism Timeline

How It All Went Down

1780s-1840s: The Industrial Revolution

What's up with everyone leaving the countryside for the city to work in factories? Oh, it's the Industrial Revolution. Mechanization and new manufacturing processes transformed people's way of life in Britain and elsewhere.

1789: The French Revolution

Here comes the guillotine. The French Revolution brought about an end to the monarchy in France, and it introduced all kinds of revolutionary ideas to Europe like equality and liberty. Who thought we could be free and equal?

1790: William Blake publishes The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Blake was a Romantic before the Romantics even came along. In this book, Satan is a hero. Need we say more?

1798: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads

Trees? Check. Emotion? Check. Experimental poetic style? Check. The publication of this book officially marks the beginning of Romanticism as a literary movement in Britain.

1818: Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein

Mary Shelley certainly held her own in a crowd of dudes. We can thank her for bringing us the monster commonly known as Frankenstein (even though that's not actually his name).

1819: Lord Byron publishes Don Juan

Yes, we all know Don Juan: among the greatest lovers in all of literature. Who wouldn't want to spend a night with him? It was Byron's poem that made Don Juan a household name.

1819: John Keats publishes Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale

Keats wrote a bunch of these odes in one year. One year, people. What have we done in one year?

1820: Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes Prometheus Unbound

Prometheus was the titan who stole fire from the gods and brought it to mankind. Shelley took the famous Greek myth and turned it into a play.

1821: John Keats dies

Yep, he was only 25.

1822: Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns in a boating accident

Shelley was 30 when he died. At least he went down in nature, the way every Romantic would want to. How ever sublime.

1824: Lord Byron dies

A dinosaur compared to Keats and Shelley, but what's up with these Romantics dying so young?