“Lyrical Ballads, in case you missed it, is, quite simply, possibly the single most important collection of poems in English ever published…”
-Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads has long been regarded as the seminal text of English Romanticism: quite literally the very poems that transformed English poetic expression forever. They represent the confluence of tradition and personal genius.
Within this volume were the poems that came to define their age and which have continued to delight readers ever since, including 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', the 'Lucy' poems, 'Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey', 'A Slumber did my Spirit seal' and many more.
Further, Wordsworth's famous Preface is a manifesto not just for Romanticism but for poetry in general.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770–1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years. He was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including “suspension of disbelief”. He was a major influence on Emerson and American transcendentalism.