Lyrical Ballads

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Lyrical Ballads, the collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge first published in 1798. The work was conceived as an attempt to cast off the stultifying conventions of formal 18th-century poetry. Wordsworth wrote that the poems it contains should be “considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purpose of poetic pleasure.”Lyrical Ballads contains some of the best-known work by Coleridge and Wordsworth, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Tintern Abbey - and is today seen as a point of radical departure for poetry in English.

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  • Judith Hawley 13 episodes
    Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Jonathan Bate 16 episodes
    Provost of Worcester College, Oxford
  • Peter Swaab No other episodes
    Reader in English Literature at University College London

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Auto-category: 821.7 (English poetry–Romantic period, 1798-1837)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in September 1798 the Bristol firm of Biggs and Cottle printed a small volume of poetry entitled Lyrical Ballads with a few other poems.