Words can be presences that inspire and encourage us forward; words can act like a pillory holding you down, keeping you confined. Great poets recreate the language, making it new. That was what Wordsworth and the great Romantics did. But the language was ready for them to act on it.

As Logan Pearsall Smith (see “Looking at the Word “Romantic” Part 1) argues there is a group of terms that come under the umbrella of the word “romantic” that suddenly came to the fore and were used in different ways from what they had been before. They are words that reflect our consciousness of what is possible and of what poetry can do. These words broke the ground assisting the startling growth of Romantic creativity.

The words Logan Pearsall Smith focused on are words we might use every day. They have become ordinary.

“We had creative writing today at school.” “To improve our sales we need to be creative”. “What a beautifully creative shot!” But how did the word “creative” used, as in these examples, come into being?

“She just repeats things. There is not an original thought in her head!” “Can’t think of anything to do? Be original!” Where did “original” as a term of commendation come from?

“I’ve just watched Federer play tennis. He is a genius!” Genius : someone who stands out away above every one else. There have always been geniuses -however rare-haven’t there?

Actually in English Literature there has been one genius and because his genius required explaining this set of words came into new being and it was taken up by the great Romantics as a vocabulary that entailed new ideas about what it was to be a poet.

if poetry was the product of the imagination; if the imagination was creative, and “originality” was the mark of its creations, then a word was needed to describe this special kind of poetic imagination.”

The word was “genius” and the “genius” was Shakespeare and the Romantics saw in Shakespeare the epitome of what it meant to write great literature. Words such as “creative”, “original”, “genius” do have ancient antecedents but the way they are used nowadays, as every day words, only came into being, and developed in popularity because they were required by a new way of thinking, stimulated by Shakespeare’s genius, and a new kind of practice, associated with Romanticism.

With “creative”, derived from “create”, and “original”, the antecedents are theological. “Create” spoke of the “original” creator acting in Genesis 1. “Creative power” would have belonged to Him and Him only. Original” that from which everything is derived” came to English in the fourteenth century, especially with the use of the term “original sin “.

By a middle route “original” took on a secular meaning. It developed from the vocabulary of painting. Let Logan Smith take up the story:

It was easy to borrow from painting the distinction between an original picture and a copy; the distinction is found in literary criticism in the middle of the seventeenth century; it was adopted by Dryden, who speaks of Shakespeare’s Juliet and Desdemona as “originals”; and it soon became a current term with reference to Shakespeare being authorised by Pope’s famous sentence in his preface to Shakespeare’s works : “If ever an author deserved the name of an Original, it was Shakespear “.…..

All art, the early critics agree, was imitation; but there were two kinds of imitation: the writer who drew his materials from observation of Nature was an original writer….. Originality was simply newness and truth of observation or invention. The great original poets, like Homer and Shakespeare, were those who had most directly imitated Nature ( by Nature they meant very much what we mean by life) and given the richest and most profound renderings of what they found there.

But the word “imitation” was found inadequate for Shakespeare. For Shakespeare had formed characters not found in Nature. This included his characterisation of faeries and presentation of scenes of magic and, especially for Dryden, the “creation” of Caliban.

“Shakespeare seems to have created a person which was not in Nature”.

When first used the word that stood out in the quoted sentence above was “created”. God created. Humans made or “invented” ie. made out of exising materials: hence the medieval “makars” ( makers) of Scotland. But did humans “create” as God created? Surely that power was only divine. John Donne, a poet of genius, however, pointed to the new possible recognition. In one of his Sermons he says ” Poetry is a counterfeit creation and makes things that are not as though they were”. (Sermons 1640 LXXX)

So because of Shakespeare(reinforced by Homer) it was possible to speak of art being “original” and because his work was more than “imitation” or ” invention” it became possible to speak of poetic creation or a human “creator”. In using this gift, poets were being “creative”. The word was first used in English in the mid-seventeenth century and came to be linked with “Imagination” (which we looked at in Part 1) and with “originality”. Let Pearsall Smith take up the story again:

Dryden was not the first writer to employ in literary criticism the word “create” but its use in this connexion, before he gave it currency, was sporadic. We find it after Dryden in…Addison who echoes much of Dryden’s criticism in the Spectator, this use of the word when, writing of ” fairies, witches, magicians , departed spirits… “he says, “we are led as it were into a new creation” and “cannot forbear thinking them natural, though we have no rule by which to judge them”. In speaking of the power of affecting the imagination, which “is the very life and highest perfection of poetry” he says in a phrase which became famous : “It has something in it like creation. It bestows a kind of existence, and draws up to the reader’s view several objects which are not found in being.” Shaftesbury in his Characteristicks (1711) , joins together the notion of originality and creation, when he somewhat ironically the new and free way of writing with the manufacture of silks and stuffs; each new pattern he says, must be an “original”, and the designer “must work originally and in a manner create each time anew”.

Originality thus acquired a new signification; it came to mean, in the critical parlance of the time, not only the direct observation of Nature, but also the invention or creation of things (for the most part supernatural beings) which did not exist in Nature. This notion of “creation”, and of the artist as a “creator” soon became current, and before long it began to beget a group of other terms which were needed for its adequate expression. Among these we may note the important adjective creative, which first appearing in the seventeenth century, became …..by the eighteenth century, a common adjective in literary criticism. We find it usually in connexion with the words “imagination ” and “fancy”, for it was to the imagination this power of creation was ascribed. ….. Thomson writes of Shakespeare’s ” creative fancy”, and Joseph Warton of his “lively creative imagination”, and calls The Tempest “the most striking instance of his creative power. He has thus given the reins to his boundless imagination, and has carried the romantic, the wonderful, the wild, to the most pleasing extravagance” . In Duff’s Essay on Original Genius (1767) … he calls “creative imagination the distinguishing characteristic of true genius”.

(Logan Pearsall Smith Words and Idioms : ” Four Romantic Words”)

In the last two quotations we notice a combination of words completely at odds with the prized regularity and formality of typically admired eighteenth century Augustan (or classical verse) and the celebration of a kind of imaginative creativity that finds room for the extravagant and wild (neither of which were Augustan qualities), uniting the poetry of Shakepeare with the word “romantic” and “Genius”. We shall come to “genius” in the next of these linguistic explorations, but with our eye to the words we have focused on we can see a movement. “Originalty”, ” create” , “creative” all words associated with God and His creative power have become identified with the human capacity to form poetry. Ultimately this appropriation of a vocabulary relating to the divine was to inform the great outburst of a poetic that took many different manifestations but combined a belief in the supremacy of the imagination and bestowed on the poet divinely inspired qualities.

If, for us, words like “imagination”, “create”, “creative”, “original”, “originality” have been reduced to becoming ordinary, that is a loss of potency of our vocabulary that might betoken a diminution of insight into the significance of these words that we surely need to rectify: perhaps by going back to the same poets!

We need to rediscover our words’ worth!


“The Creature”

Between the eighties and nineties I was not much involved with academic life. When I returned to teach Open University students a course on “Approaches to Literature” I was surprised to discover that a novel I had thought to be on the periphery of literary focus had become a central part of the curriculum.

Earlier, I had taken for granted, that Frankenstein was an example, certainly a good example, of the gothic form. This form, in my unmodish innocence, unaware how the genre of the gothic had been reclaimed as significant, I regarded as suspect because I thought of gothic as tending towards sensationalism which failed to get inside situations as, say, Jane Austen’s realism did. It worked, that is, on the level of external sensation, or excitement, of the reader, rather than leading the reader into psychological penetration of what was being presented. So while Frankenstein may have been an interesting example of the literature of the time, reflecting the ideas of the time, it did not have inherent strength as a great work of literature, limited as it was by its genre. Such was my old-fashioned view.

So you can guess my surprise when on returning to academe I discovered the same devalued Frankenstein as being given a central role as a classic. Why the sudden elevation? In these intervening years the feminist revolution hit literary studies. So….. you might ask? What has the gothic of this novel, not focused on an exploited female, but centred on male creator and male creature to do with feminism? At first that might seem a difficult question to answer. True, poor Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s betrothed, suffers grievously and then on the wedding night is slaughtered. But she is simply a casualty of the central opposition, too vestigial a character in the novel, for that to be the feminist justification. No, the answer comes in a word that the feminist revolution brought in to the understanding of literature; a word linked to the whole development of critical theory. The word is otherness.

“Otherness” came to prominence in sociology as a word expressing not just difference between one group and and another but a constructed difference based on the hierarchical model of power. So, in terms of feminism, “otherness” was a role prescribed for the female, or ” constructed” in society by the patriarchal male to regulate the position and decide the functions of the female. Those in power, the privileged, assumed normalcy. Outside of that, were those that were treated as other. Feminism meant opposing this regulation, this devalued otherness in favour of equality; an opposition which involved not just fighting against outward political and economic limitation-male franchise, male dominance in the work place- but also the inward limitation of assigned stereotypical forms of behaviour (such as the female being associated with roles of domesticity, nurturing, housework, etc).

In this way, the movement is from the external obvious oppression to internal cultural oppression. Identity politics comes to be developed: “the personal is political” became a popular feminist slogan.

Well and good, you say- and we all may sympathise now with that idea of feminism- but how does that relate to Frankenstein with its male protagonists. The answer takes us a little further beyond immediate feminism. Other identities are similarly constructed according to the hierarchy, deemed to privilege the white male. As well as the feminist, there is also the race narrative, reacting against racism, including the colonial and post- colonial positioning of other races in relation to the dominant tribe. Then we come to gays, and then trans and gender identities, and disabled and whatever other group that can be construed as victimised within a narrative of otherness.

Once you look at Frankenstein this way you can see the fit. The Creature is constructed. The Creature is then condemned for who and what he is. He seeks recognition: he is spurned, rejected, abandoned by his creator. Not only that, but because he appears different, although he harbours feelings of longing for sympathy and endorsement, he is rejected and condemned by society. When he learns about society (educated by default though a hole in the wall) he finds that this kind of rejection has been inherent within human society. A rage builds up within and when rejected he acts violently. This confirms his evil inferiority of nature in the understanding of his creator. The two are involved in a destructive cycle of destruction and violence.

Hence the importance of Frankenstein. That is why it has become such an established classic for our time. For it is archetypal, the modern myth outlining and predicting the fallout of the post- revolutionary struggle towards equality. Published in 1818, it foreshadows Marx, the struggle of the exploited workers and all the other struggles-the feminist, gays, the fight against patriarchy, against the traditional structure of the family, the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, Mermaids etc- which might come under the umbrella of cultural Marxism. Now these severally may be causes for which you have some sympathy but in Frankenstein you have a work that represents in essence the whole process for these various identities. The Creature constructed to live and yet be different, rejected and denied the right to be the creature he might seek to be. The logic of cultural Marxism finds in Frankenstein the iconic myth of power relations. So when feminism ultimately required the revaluation of the curriculum it is not surprising that the significance of Frankenstein came to be re-assessed.

Shelley brought up by feminist May Wollstonecraft, and by William Godwin who heralded the perfectability of man through equality, a great supporter of the French Revolution with her husband Percy Bysshe, also a Godwinite, was fascinated by “Paradise Lost”. But it was a Paradise Lost less based on Genesis than on a reading of Milton’s work similar to that of William Blake(also a radical supporter of the French Revolution), a reading that sees not God but Satan as the hero, as Blake puts it “Milton was of the Devil’s party without knowing it”. In Paradise Lost. God the hierarchic Authoritarian Father, the Law -maker, punished and condemned Satan to Hell. Satan, so condemned, seeks a kind of heroic revenge, inspiring Man to oppose God.

What this understanding of the myth fails to record is the moral significance of the need for redemption. For Frankenstein is potentially noble but allows himself, through his obsession, to go against the good; the Creature is not only rejected and therefore deserving of our sympathy, especially because he shows finer feelings, but in his bitter revenge and uncontrolled rage becomes evil. They are not representative of two opposing sides, one good, one wrong. Both require redemption submitting themselves to God, and then through mutual understanding and forgiveness. But Frankenstein in his obsessive male pride has forgotten God. The Creature is only a human construct, uninspired by God. What is missing in this modern myth, what is missing in cultural Marxism, is the understanding of an Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who writes in his great work The Gulag Archipelago 1973 : “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, not between political parties either- but right through every human heart.”


We have been looking at Romanticism in general and some aspects of pre-romanticism ( the picturesque, the sublime etc) and the history of “romantic” as a word. We shall be looking at various examples of Romantic poetry and prose and asking questions as to its continuing influence on us today. But here is another angle: what does romanticism mean to the philosopher? Below is a passage from Simon Blackburn’s “The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy” first published 1994.(O.U.P.).

Romanticism. The movement that swept European and thence American culture between about 1775 and 1830, although heralded by preceding elements in the 18th century ( antiquarianism, novels of sensibility, the taste for the sublime and the picturesque, and above all Rousseau’s elevation of nature and sentiment above civilisation and intellect). Romanticism was partly a reaction against the stiff intellectuality of the Enlightenment and its official, static, neo-classical art, in favour of the spontaneous, the unfettered, the subjective, the imaginative and emotional, and the inspirational and heroic. In philosophy, the Romantics took from Kant both the emphasis on free will and the doctrine that reality is ultimately spiritual, with nature itself a mirror of the human soul. In Schelling, nature became a creative spirit whose aspiration is ever fuller and more complete self-realisation. Knowledge of the nature of this spirit (the Absolute) cannot be acquired by rational and analytic means, but only by emotional and intuitive absorption within the process. The spontaneous innocence of the child (and of humanity in its childhood) is corrupted with the onset of intellectual separation from nature, but the individual, and equally human history, can overcome this separation by a spiritual process of regaining the lost unity, albeit cleansed and improved by the journey. Romantic art is thus essentially one of movement, figured in quests, journeys and pilgrimages whose aim is to return to a lost home or haven.”

Much of this points to what attracted me as a young man to the Romantics. When D. H. Lawrence-perhaps the last great Romantic- wrote “The two ways of knowing, for man, are knowing in terms of apartness, which is mental, rational, scientific and knowing in terms of togetherness, which is religious and poetic.” The former I knew was the knowing inculcated by our schooling and mental predispositions and promoted by our technological, computer-based civilisation. But it was “knowing in togetherness” I craved. Hence, I went especially to the poetry of the Romantics, particularly Blake and Wordsworth and in seeking a sense of the religious I sought a “spiritual process of regaining lost unity”. As, when I read Carlyle’s classic Sartor Resartus years later, I found that he put it: ” that Communing of Soul with Soul; for only in looking heavenward…does what we can call Union, mutual love, Society, begin to be possible.”



Mont Blanc

The next day we pursued our journey upon mules; and as we ascended still higher, the valley assumed a more magnificent and astonishing character; and as we ascended still higher, the valley assumed a more magnificent and astonishing character. Ruined castles hanging on precipices of piny mountains; the impetuous Arves, and cottages every here and there peeping forth from among the trees, formed a scene of singular beauty. But it was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitation of another race of beings.

We passed the bridge of Pelissier, where the ravine, which the river forms, opened before us, and we began to ascend the mountain that overhangs it. Soon after we entered the valley of the Chamounix. The valley is more wonderful and sublime, but not so beautiful and picturesque as that of the Servox, through which he had just passed. The high and shining mountains were its immediate boundaries; but we saw no more ruined castles and fertile fields. Immense glaciers approached the road; we heard the rumbling thunder of the falling avalanche, and marked the smoke of its passage. Mont Blanc, the supreme and magnificent Mont Blanc, raised itself from the surrounding aiguilles , and its tremendous dome overlooked the valley.

Mary Shelley Frankenstein Vol.2 Ch. 1

Valley of the Chamounix

Mary Shelley’s novel was probably the most famous and certainly most significant of the Gothic genre of novels which came to the fore in the pre-Romantic period and especially in the decade of the 1790’s. Jane Austen read them with enthusiasm but when she started to write fiction, that same decade, her approach was supremely realistic working upon the ordinary world of everyday experience. Her first novel, Northanger Abbey satirises the popular cult of the Gothic and especially the novels of Mrs Ann Radcliffe.

Gothic novels were designed to lead the reader into an unfamiliar world of the weird and the terrifying. Their settings aim to chill and frighten: hence their ancient haunted castles, isolated mansions or ruins, graveyards, remote mountain lanscapes, where the helpless, isolated heroine-or occasional hero- will be exposed to extremes of threat.

The above passage from Shelley is remarkable, given the genre, for its specificity. These are named , identifiable places in the Alps, though in their otherness from the norm, they form a suitable setting (“as belonging to another earth, the habitation of another race of beings”) for the confrontation between Frankenstein and his creature.

We notice in the description that we are taken beyond the picturesque with white cottages peeping out among the forests and the castles and “fertile fields” all features of the picturesque and ordinarily beautiful to something tremendous, of extra dimension: in other words the sublime – “it was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps”. This is where wild nature expresses its inhuman otherness, it commands a feeling of awe beyond what might be familiarised as picturesque.

During the Romantic era the sublime took on a new emphasis. It was heralded by a work of aesthetics by Edmund Burke Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756). According to the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Simon Blackburn 1996) Burke’s work “marked a very early Romantic turn away from the 18th -century aesthetic of clarity and order, in favour of the imaginative power of the unbounded and infinite, and the unstated and unknown.”

The great Romantic poets sought out the mountains, as earlier poets had embarked on a Grand Tour. Wordsworth brought up in the Lake District ,anyway, explored also the Scottish Highlands, Snowdonia and the Alps. Famously, he wrote about the experience of crossing the Alps in Book 6 of “The Prelude”. Coleridge described the valley of the Chamouni in “Hymn Before Sunrise”. These two poems inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley, second generation Romantic, to another take on Alpine landscape, with his “Mont Blanc”. And relating to the description above in Frankenstein Percy and his young wife in 1814 together put together a journal of their travels in the area. The work was then edited by Mary, prefaced by Percy and published in November 1817 as History of a Six Week Tour .

The story of the novel developed from a later tour in 1817 when the Shelleys returned to the area living with Byron in his lodge near Geneva. The group, including Byron’s friend and physician Polidori, talking late into the night devised a ghost-writing competition they would all engage in. Percy’s tale did not develop , Byron began one on a vampire which Polidori later developed and published The Vampyre: A Tale . Mary’s mind was at first blank but then she crossed ideas of setting- the Alps and Republican Geneva- with her husband’s fascination with the new science of electricity and galvanism which provoked ideas about the creation of living beings. What starts as a great enterprise, the noble scientific idealism of Frankenstein, involves unhallowed desecration of the remains of corpses and he becomes increasingly obsessive and secretive. The resulting creation is a disaster. Frankenstein shrinks away in disgust at the ghastliness of the creature, rejecting and abandoning it. However the creature is not so readily dismissed and there follows a cycle of rejection and destruction from which neither can escape. So, along with its traditional gothic sensationalism and frightening violence, the work transcends the limitations of the genre developing a great cluster of ideas on idealism , the limits of scientific endeavour, the potential of science to be destructive rather than ameliorative of the human condition, the concept of the noble savage (from Rousseau) and the corruption in man and in society and social conditioning, the rejection of otherness and the operation of the mentality of revenge based on rejection. Thus the non-realism of the gothic is transcended to become a work of mythic portent in which the original Genesis story of creation (Milton’s Paradise Lost is frequently invoked) is re-adapted with the god of creation failing to re-connect with the creature who fails and who is other, causing a breakdown in the possibility of creative relations being established.

But I’ve rather exceeded my brief which was simply to tell how for the Romantics the sublime took on a new significance which drew them to mountains and the feeling of awe they induced. Once started one never quite knows where a blog might end up!


Marianne’s sensitivity to the beauty of the landscape (see post “Jane Austen and the Picturesque”) shows her feeling for the picturesque, a pre-Romantic era concept, that developed in popularity through the eighteenth century. That it is a fashionable tendency is due largely to the work of William Gilpin(1724-1804). Gilpin distinguishes picturesque beauty from natural beauty : between those which “please the eye in the natural state, and those which please from some quality, capable of being illustrated in painting.” (Essay on Picturesque Beauty). Jane Austen was once, according to her brother Henry, in his Biographical Notice to the first edition of Persuasion , “enamoured of Gilpin on the Picturesque”. So her early feelings are probably reflected in the enthusiasm of the young Marianne but, her similar distrust of jargon and her suspicion of affectation, would lead naturally to the kind of satirical approach of Edward. Here for instance is the kind of judgement Gilpin would make which Edward clearly has in mind:
At Fair-Mile hill, a very extensive view opened before us, but nothing can make it pleasing, as it is bounded by a hard edge. A distance should melt into the sky, or terminate in a soft and varied mountain line.” Observations on the Western Parts of England” London (1798).

Gilpin’s work, however, prepared the ground for the kind of appreciation the Romantic poets, like Wordsworth and the Lake poets, and Sir Walter Scott, would develop. Between 1782 and 1809 he wrote six books of Observations on various parts of the United Kingdom, including the Wye Valley, the Lake District and the Highlands of Scotland. Such places were becoming popular tourist sites. During the French wars following the French Revolution the Grand Tour of Europe was becoming less possible and Gilpin’s work undoubtedly developed the early attractions of holidaying in parts of the country which never before would have been found attractive. So in Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet is to go first with the Gardiners to the Lake District on holiday (before it has to be shortened and they limit themselves to Derbyshire) and in the early “Love and Friendship” one of the characters speaks of going a tour of the Scottish Highlands as a result of reading Gilpin’s Observations of 1789.(I’m grateful to Ros Ballaster for details from her Notes as editor of 2014 edition of Sense and Sensibility Penguin Classics)

In her first novel Northanger Abbey Jane Austen also combines sympathetic focus with satire of the modishness of picturesque terminology. She describes the young naive Catherine developing her education in listening to the discussion Tilney and his sister while out for a walk around Beechen Cliff,

that noble hill, whose beautiful verdure and hanging coppice render it so striking an object from almost every opening in Bath……..

The Tilneys were viewing the country with the eyes of persons accustomed to drawing, and decide on its capability of being formed into pictures, with all the eagerness of real taste. Here Catherine was quite lost. She knew nothing of drawing-nothing of taste:- and she listened to them with an attention that brought little profit, for they talked in phrases which conveyed scarcely any idea to her. The little she did understand however appeared to contradict the very few notions she had entertained on the matter before. It seemed as if a good view were no longer to be taken from the top of an high hill, and that a clear sky was no longer proof of a fine day.

Having confessed her ignorance Henry Tilney was very ready to educate her:

a lecture on the picturesque immediately followed, in which his instructions were so clear that she soon began to see beauty in every thing admired by him and her attention was so earnest, that he became perfectly satisfied of her having a great deal of natural taste. He talked of foregrounds, distances, and second distances-side-screens and perspectives-lights and shades- and Catherine was so hopeful a scholar, that when they gained the top of Beechen Cliff, she voluntarily rejected the whole city of Bath, as unworthy to make part of a landscape.”

Jane Austen was not the only one to satirise the work of Gilpin. William Combe brought out in “The Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque” a verse narrative which was illustrated by the outstanding English caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson. Included are stanzas, like the following, presenting the ridiculed target drawing a landscape while seeking to make the picture adequately picturesque:

"  I've a right-( who dares deny it)
To place a group of asses by it.
Aye, this will do, and now I'm thinking
That self-same pond where Grizzle's drinking,
If hither brought 'twould better seem
And, truth, I'll turn it to a stream.
I'll make this flat a shaggy ridge
And o'er the water throw a bridge
I'll do as other sketchers do
Put anything into the view
And any object recollect,
To add a grace and give effect.

According to Wikipedia, the writer of the Dr. Syntax verses William Combe was a “micellaneous writer” whose “early life was that of an adventurer and his later was passed chiefly within the “rules” of the King’s Bench Prison.” So popular was his first series on Dr Syntax (1809) that two others were written. The illustrator was Thomas Rowlandson well known as a brilliant satirical painter and caricaturist and Dr Syntax is recognised to be our first cartoon character.

Yet despite his excesses the Rev William Gilpin should be remembered with respect. He was one of those doughty Anglican priests who, while ever faithful to their duties, found time for an extraordinary range of achievements. After graduating from Oxford in 1748 Gilpin worked as a teacher, becoming headmaster of Cheam School for Boys in 1755. There he was a very enlightened schoolmaster for the time, refusing to use corporal punishment and instead issuing fines for misbehaviour. He encouraged the boys in sporting activities, as well as interesting them in running school shops and looking after the school gardens. In 1777 he became vicar at Boldre in the New Forest area where he remained until his death in 1804. During his summer vacations he would carry out his tours with observations and drawings which were then published. Three essays on the Picturesque followed which along with the Observations created an enthusiasm for the subject. As well as his art works he published books of sermons and biographies of great figures in the English Church- Hugh Latimer, Wycliffe and Thomas Cranmer. All in all , he was a man who added much to the ongoing cultural and spiritual life of the nation.