Charlotte Smith Notes

  • Uses imagination to contemplate history
    • triggered by seeing ruins of things past


  • Ruins provide romantics opportunity the opportunity to launch into imaginative recreation of past events
  • Reexamines happiness as the overcoming of adversity, working, endless pursuit of self-actualization
  • Romantics celebrate nature in a sense of yearning for simpler existence, less complication


  • Nature is something that is harmonious
    • also discussed as much more profound and complicated than humanity


  • Privileges nature over art
  • Idea of naming nature shows man’s desire to have control over it
  • Elegaic Sonnets
    • To Sleep – sleep and dreams provide more solace and are more comforting to hard-working working class
  • Beachy Head 
    • a man-made landmark that Charlotte is contemplating
    • personifies contemplation
    • zooms in and out of scenes in the surrounding land
    • Incorporates significant historical accounts into her footnotes and allusions
    • nostalgic tone
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