Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Amorous AestheticsIntellectual Love in Romantic Poetry and Poetics, 1788-1853$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Seth T. Reno

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940834

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940834.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2022

Wordsworthian Love

Wordsworthian Love

(p.27) Chapter One Wordsworthian Love
Amorous Aesthetics

Seth T. Reno

Liverpool University Press

This chapter establishes the seminal foundation of Romantic intellectual love in the early poetry of William Wordsworth. I take as a starting point Wordsworth’s emphasis on ‘intellectual love’ as well as his claim that ‘Love of Nature lead[s] to love of Mankind’, arguing that he develops a kind of critical-ecological thinking that leads to a love that ‘rolls through all things’. In particular, I trace the influence of Erasmus Darwin on the evolution of Wordsworth’s theory of love, revealing that the ideological illusion often attributed to Wordsworth’s love of nature has more to do with science than transcendent idealism. Together, Darwin and Wordsworth construct an incipient form of what we now call affective neuroscience with intellectual love at its core. Although there are instances in his writing where Wordsworth turns to sentimentalism, self-love, or idealism, I demonstrate how the interconnectedness of the natural world provides Wordsworth with an aesthetic model for envisioning intellectual love.

Keywords:   William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Erasmus Darwin, Theodor Adorno, Science, Neuroscience, Ecocriticism, Love, Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.