Devonshire, England: Enclosed Fields




Information travel time, in weeks




Europe:        c. 190 million by 1800

c. 460 million by 1914


                   England and Wales: c.6.2 million 1750

                                                 c. 8.6 million 1800


                   by 1850:      52% in Britain

                                      25% in France

                                      36% in German states

                                      10% in the United States

financial revolution


                   1844: F.B. Morse: Baltimore to D.C. line

“What God hath wrought”





c. 1760-1840 in England

“In 1760 a wave of Gadgets swept over England. . .”


Arnold Toynbee (1852-83)

NOT Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1885-1975) Study of History


Friedrich Engels: “The history of the proletariat in England begins with the second half of the last century, with the invention of the steam-engine and of machinery for working cotton. These inventions gave rise, as is well known, to an industrial revolution, a revolution which altered the whole civil society; one, the historical importance of which is only now beginning to be recognised.




Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729)

James Watt (1736-1819)





George Stephenson’s (1781-1848) Rocket


 1829 Liverpool-Manchester line competition


It is far from my wish to promulgate to the world that the ridiculous expectations, or rather professions of the enthusiastic speculatist will be realized, and that we shall see engines travelling at the rate of twelve, sixteen, eighteen, or twenty miles an hour. Nothing could do more harm towards their adoption or general improvement than the promulgation of such nonsense!








Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766-1834)









noble savage

 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

                                                Critique of Pure Reason.






Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)


                                      Sorrows of Young Werther

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

 Lyrical Ballads written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

                   Confessions of an English Opium Eater

George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)

                                                Childe-Harold’s Pilgrimage

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)


Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)

Victor Hugo (French 1802-1885)

                                                Les Misérables, Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.


Ludwig von Beethoven (German, 1770-1827)

Franz Liszt (Hungarian, 1811-1886)

Richard Wagner (German) (1813-1883)

Tchaikovsky (Russian,1840-1893)

Giuseppe Verdi (Italian, 1813-1901)

Strauss, Richard (German, 1864-1949)






1. Using Shelley’s Frankenstein as a model of the Romantic novel, come up with a definition of romanticism and its major characteristics.


2. How is Shelley’s view of society, its preconceptions and norms, important for the development of characters and plot? In what ways can we associate this view of society with interpretations introduced during the Enlightenment?


2. Is Shelley’s novel a call to halt scientific research and to return to more simple way of life? What do you think she is recommending?





1. What concrete historical events or developments can you identify or trace in Frankenstein? How are they important for the major themes of the novel?


2. Is Victor Frankenstein directly responsible for the actions of the monster? To what extent should be held morally liable for the violence and murders?


3. Is Shelley’s message still applicable today? How?