‘Romantic’ has become almost a term of abuse. Listening to the Radio 4 programme Start the Week a little while ago I heard the presenter Andrew Marr say “This programme has an anti-Wordsworth policy”, referring to the greatest English Romantic poet. No doubt he meant it partly as a joke, and the poet Craig Raine, also on the show, had the presence of mind to cry “Shame on you!” but the implications were spelled out by another contributor, the writer and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist:

“Nowadays we think of Romantic as signifying something a bit woolly or self-indulgent”.

In this context the rehang ...


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