The Romantic period of English (which later spread to Europe and other parts of the world) began in the last quarter of the 18th century and lasted for about half a century. it left an irrefutable legacy of literature in its wake. Its themes, values and ideas of innovation, imagination, natural life, human experience and a subjective interpretation of life were an assault against neoclassicism. But it is these qualities of projection into the environment and identification with the protagonist that made these books all the more relatable. Here is a list of 8 best books from the romantic period or movement (romanticism).

Lyrical Ballads: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) - Lyrical Ballads: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) – Lyrical Ballads: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This book, prefaced by the stalwart of the romantic movement. This is a collection of sublime poetry from William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It marks the beginning of the movement in England, and stresses the affective experience of the poem over the poem itself.

Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte

Unfolding in the scenic landscapes of the Yorkshire moors, this dark romantic novel follows the turbulent love story of the landlord and his paying guest.

Frankenstein: Mary Shelley

8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) - Frankenstein: Mary Shelley
8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) – Frankenstein: Mary Shelley

In this scientific horror fiction, Shelley tells the story of a scientist’s experiment gone wrong. The byproduct of this experiment is a humanoid monster, beyond the power of humans. This book began the horror and gothic fiction subgenre of romanticism.

The Scarlet Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne

This book follows the story of Hester, who bears an illegitimate child. In her oath to secrecy regarding never revealing her lover’s name, she faces humiliation and disgrace. She must bear the scarlet letter A (for adultery) on all her clothes and become mute subject to heinous discrimination. Amidst this, she must also reinvent her life with dignity.

The Count of Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas

8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) - The Count of Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas
8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) – The Count of Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas

This work of French romanticism follows the life of a young man evicted for murder on the eve of his engagement. Following his solitary confinement, breaks out of prison and becomes a vengeful man in hunt of a treasure.

Emma: Jane Austen

Emma: Jane Austen
Emma: Jane Austen

This is perhaps Austen’s most light novel, which centres around the smart and beautiful Emma, who engages in reckless matchmaking. The result is disastrous, and she must curtail her own pride to find love, for herself and for others. Plus, love might not exactly look like what she thinks it should or will.

The Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde

8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) - The Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde
8 Best Books From The Romantic Period or Movement (Romanticism) – The Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde

In this book, a supremely beautiful young man strives to swap with his own portrait so that he can remain eternally young while his portrait ages with immorality. However, this sends him down a spiral of hedonism, at the end of which he destroys himself. Exploring the themes of philosophy, immorality, immortality, beauty, aestheticism and hedonism, this book is a must read.

The Sorrows of Young Werther: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The Sorrows of Young Werther: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The Sorrows of Young Werther: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

This German masterpiece by a man whose literature is on the same shelf as Shakespeare follows a young boy called Werther. The story is that, Werther is a passionate yet dissatisfied man in love with his friend’s wife. This moving account of ‘tempestuous’ youth is semi-autobiographical, making it all the more interesting.

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