Contribution to Books
While Thoreau has sometimes been represented as a provincial figure who traveled relatively little, his extensive engagement with texts from across the Atlantic reveals a much fuller and more cosmopolitan picture of Thoreau, a writer who engaged with Romanticism not only directly, through his careful study of texts by Coleridge, Wordsworth, Carlyle, Goethe, and others, but also indirectly, since Romanticism saturated the Transcendentalist context within which he developed and operated. Thus there is a clear need to understand Thoreau in light of a larger movement: transatlantic Romanticism. Thoreau's awareness of transatlantic religio-philosophical, scientific, and literary contexts is especially evident in his engagement with one particular British Romantic: Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
This material has been published in Henry David Thoreau in Context edited by James S. Finley. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © 2017, Cambridge University Press.
Harvey, Samantha C.. (2017). "Romanticism". Henry David Thoreau in Context, 89-99.