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Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous
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Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Meet the rebellious young poets who brought about a literary revolution

Rock stars may think they invented sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but the Romantic poets truly created the mold.

In the early 1800s, poetry could land a person in jail. Those who tried to change the world through their poems risked notoriety--or courted it. Among the most subversive were a group of young
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 13, 2012 karen marked it as to-read
okay, i have to call WTF maintenant. so, i ordered this for myself, not realizing it was YA. fine - i am not averse to YA. but on the back, bold as balls, this book claims:

the entanglement between lord byron and lady caroline lamb started out as a mutual flirtation...

maybe it was just a rumor, maybe it had a shred of truth, but a story spread that lady caroline was once delivered to lord byron's place on a silver serving tray. beneath the tray's cover, she lay stark naked


that was never a ru
May 25, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
A deeply absorbing read about a deeply fascinating group of people. Being a relatively short book to cover the lives of so many major poets, there's obviously some picking and choosing of what to cover. Andronik chose to focus on the scandals, which certainly has its place in biography, aside from being interesting. Maybe some deeper analysis of their works would have been welcome, but I didn't come here for literary analysis, and I never expected it. If that's your expectation, you'll be disapp ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As someone who was obsessed with Romantic poetry and Anne of Green Gables as a kid, this was a fantastic overview of the romantic poets we deify now. Basically they were all kind of rock star douchebags, haha.
Jun 22, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
I think this is a very accessible overview of the big names in Romantic poetry. I really enjoyed it. I also loved that she included poems she referenced between the sections. It did a lot to showcase what each poet was like through each section. I even learned a bit I hadn't leaned before in my lyricism class, so kudos to her.
Timothy Newman
Nov 11, 2014 Timothy Newman rated it really liked it
very readable
Ginger Price
Feb 23, 2017 Ginger Price rated it liked it
This was a very accessible introduction to the Romantic poets, and, for the most part, I liked it. However, this text is essentially just a very abridged account of the Romantic poets' lives. The lack of any discussion of their actual work left me wanting more. I also had to chuckle at the introduction which clearly wanted to make the Romantics sound cool and appealing to the YA to whom this book is generally directed; Andronik made 19th century England sound like something out of a telenovela o ...more
Benjamin Ried
Jun 04, 2014 Benjamin Ried rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-2014
I loved the Romantic poets, because of "their fascination with genuine emotion, with lyrical use of everyday language, with ordinary people and ordinary situations."

However, this book pulled back the curtain on their scandalous lives and it was appalling. We often lament the moral decline in our current time and nation; however, moral depravity has been a part of human civilization since the fall. The accounts of sexual immorality, homosexuality, drug addiction, idolatry, abuse, etc., etc. serve
Oct 09, 2007 Jenn rated it it was ok
What a disappointing rendering of a great premise. This book begins well, with a thesis that the Lake Poets of the early 19th century were revolutionaries in both their lifestyles and their art. The text quickly degenerates into a cataloging of scandal and tragedy. Although the author does include samples of the poets' work, she does not give any explanation of criticism of any of the pieces, and the reader has neither any idea of when the pieces were written, nor any explanation of just how the ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Doug rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Poetry fans, history buffs, biographical lovers
Recommended to Doug by: Doug Brown
The Romantic Poets... This is the most emotionally charged
book I have read recently. Catherine M. Andronik brings the romantic poets(Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelly, Keats) alive. Andronik brings all of the passion, and pathos alive. This book spotlights the tragedies of their lives makes them real.
I am glad I have not read any other biographies of the Romantic Poets, because this is detailed and only 249 pages; thus, making it one of those emotionally charged
readings that explodes into yo
Apr 20, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
"The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous" Romantic poets (minus Keats from that description- what I know of him, which is little) is an appropriate description with the sex, drugs, and delusions revealed about some of history's greatest poets. It saddens me that men so gifted died so young and spent a lot of time tortured by addictions it seems. Some parents may not want their teens reading this due to the incest, drugs, etc... However, I think this book is more apt to keep some teens reading than o ...more
Andie Z
Aug 09, 2011 Andie Z marked it as to-read
Reviewed for The In Group

Wildly Romantic is a fascinating look at the lives of the Romantic poets Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. These young rebels pushed the boundaries of their times, risking everything to express themselves through their poetry. I really enjoyed this book, because I have always loved the Romantic poems and it was wonderful to read about what was going on in the lives of the brilliant people who wrote them. I woul
Mary Drew
This was in the adult non-fiction section of the library but it read as if written for someone in high school. Sure enough, reading the back cover it stated, "Catherine M. Andronik writes non-fiction books for teenagers...." Still, I wanted to read it to learn about the Romantic poets and I did. While not deep or detailed, I got the information without a lot of academic mumbo-jumbo. The age group focus made it a quick read. Since my goal is to get an historic background on poetry and poets, this ...more
Sep 29, 2007 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book to get middle- and high-schoolers interested in 18th- and 19th-century poetry. (And let's face it, they're not going to get hooked on it of their own accord.) The scandalous details will reel 'em in and make the poets much more memorable than otherwise.

It's long been my opinion that people, especially students, are better off knowing the follies of the heroes of history (like the fact that Ben Franklin was a raging sex fiend, for example) -- not to demonize the aforement
Katie (Ms. Hammond) Hammond
Apr 16, 2012 Katie (Ms. Hammond) Hammond rated it really liked it
I remember as a college student thinking that nothing was more boring and hard to read than Romantic poetry. I wish I had had this book then! Zowie! These guys lived like today's most degenerate pop stars! They give Slash a run for his money. I picked this up in honor of National Poetry Month, and now I want to pick up some of those old Norton anthologies I have lying around from past English courses. It's a quick read, and you'll definitely learn something new about these dead white guys.
Jan 21, 2010 Deb marked it as abandoned
Reads like a crappy, sordid tabloid. Also, the Romantic poets were pretty much just bastards. Sure, they wrote some nice stuff. But they were frat boys who wrote nice stuff. Okay, some of it was brilliant stuff. But the drugs, the incest, the affairs, etc -- turns out I have no patience to read about this crap.
Also, this book was really poorly written. I got halfway through, which is more than enough.
Molly Gaudry
Aug 31, 2015 Molly Gaudry rated it it was amazing
Not a bad introductory text to the Romantics for young people. I'd gift it. But then I'd have to explain to a parent the jacket copy, which I'd have to then explain is misleading on so many levels--librarians don't know where to shelve it, adults are disappointed bc this is YA-level history/biography and not the steamy story they were expecting, and, come on, really? Why is Caroline Lamb even anywhere near the back cover?
Alex Jimenez
Apr 09, 2015 Alex Jimenez rated it really liked it
Full of straightforward facts. I appreciated it for that. The writing and organization could've been way better, though. One example: The author repeatedly reminds the reader about the high rate of infant mortality during this time, as if they need to be reminded, and then neglects to touch upon Byron's bisexuality more than three times in throwaway lines. All in all, it was an educational read and good for starters to learn the essentials about the Romantics. 3.5 stars.
Jul 03, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, my-books
Brilliantly written, provided insightful historical context as well as the social relationships and interactions between the poets. Easy to read and also managed to be funny. The stories of these poets definitely illustrates how life can be stranger - or more amazing - than fiction. Also includes excerpts of their work, which was made easier to interpret and understand having the context in mind. Highly recommend. I originally bought this as a gift. Looks like I will need to buy another copy!
Jun 08, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was reading it with the thought that I may use it with my high school seniors. I really found this accessible. It give faces and lives to the names in our textbook. It was scandalous enough to interest high school seniors and perhaps, dare I hope, spark further independent research, without being graphic or raunchy. I liked the poems at the end of each chapter, so readers can make connections between poets' lives and their works.
Feb 07, 2008 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I know this was published for YA, but I think it would be better marketed as a children's book. My library has it in the adult section where I don't think it will move very well. I can see that a younger HS or Middle Schooler would really enjoy reading this along side their English Text...just to liven things up.
May 12, 2008 Bree rated it really liked it
I loved that not only was it a short biography of 5 english poets lives (wordsworth, shelley, byron, coleridge and keats) but how their lives were intertwined. It was fascinating to see how not very different they are from us today. I also enjoyed the smattering of poetry spread at the end of each chapter.
Mayday Maddie
Feb 22, 2009 Mayday Maddie rated it really liked it
Normally I'm not on for biographies--- but this one is actually quite good.

It is an amusing tale of the original Romantic poets. Most of them are pretty creepy. One's a jerk, a opuim-addict, a pervert, a psycho (no really - he started 2 go pretty crazy) & a sad young poet who met a tragic fate.

None of them died of old age. Pretty sad.
Nov 27, 2007 jill rated it liked it
Still fascinated by those Romantic poets. This is teen non-fiction with very short chapters about Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and of course Shelley, Byron and the girls. The book definitely focuses on the scandalous, with chapters like 'Byronic Entanglements' and 'Dead Babies.' It was fun and informative.
Aug 20, 2012 Christia rated it liked it
Andronik writes for a young adult audience, which is not necessarily a bad thing - just unexpected. A good overview of the Romantic poets and their escapades, along with some samples of their best known poetry. I enjoyed learning more about Wordsworth and Coleridge. Shelley and Byron's lives in particular are proof that truth is in fact stranger than fiction.
Feb 01, 2012 Melissa rated it it was ok
This was so disappointing! A book about the Romantic poets could easily read like the racist tabloids. This was too sanitized.
Sep 05, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I expectecd. It is about the lives of the English Romantic Poets, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, etc. Very readable and enjoyable. Quick and interesting too!
May 26, 2012 Therese rated it really liked it
The author does a good job of weaving all the poets together and how they intermingled with each other. Also Wordsworth is so beautiful to re-read!
Dec 24, 2007 Jessie rated it it was amazing
great intro to the romantic poets - this is a YA book so at times it seemed simplistic, yet i loved the poem selections and reading how their lives entwined.
Mar 26, 2010 Drew added it
Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous by Catherine M. Andronik (2007)
Brittany rated it it was ok
Dec 16, 2012
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Catherine M. Andronik is a library media specialist in a Connecticut high school. She has written nonfiction books for readers of all ages.
More about Catherine M. Andronik...

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