The Heart of the Romantic

That word 'Romantic'. We associate it with candlelit dinners, an unexpected marriage proposal on a beach in Bali, the magic of an evening walk along a Venetian canal. Attach it to the creative output of writers, artists and musicians of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and the meaning of the word changes only slightly. In reaction to the reason-worshipping ethos of the Enlightenment and the shrinking area of mystery upon which the scientific revolution increasingly encroached, writers such as Wordsworth and artists such as J M W Turner attempted to find a way back from the mind to the heart. The great 17th c French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal had forecast this growing

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