Barbauld's Prophecy and Blake's Imagination
The Romantic Era was a time of widespread cultural, social, and political reform. Industrialization was taking the place of the agrarian lifestyle, which introduced problems such as higher poverty, a larger segregation of class, and overworking of both adults and children. The wars in America and France paved the way for political upheaval by introducing new ways of thinking and radicals who wanted change. With all of this turmoil and
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taking place in reality, the writers of this time such as Blake and Barbauld, saw the importance in the strength of the mind and subjective writing. Blake's use of imagination in "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" was both important and exciting. Barbauld's prophetic "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven" was insightful and enabled us to see the chaos of that time.
Damrosch, David, ed. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. New York: Longman, 1999.