This is the second part of a three part BBC documentary series on the Romantics, hosted by Peter Ackroyd. You can now watch the first part ‘Liberty’ here, and the third, ‘Eternity‘.
Peter Ackroyd summons the ghosts of the Romantics to tell the story of man’s escape from the shackles of industry and commerce to the freedom of nature.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold of Britain during the late 18th Century, the Romantics embraced nature in search of sublime experience. But this was much more than just a walk in the country; it was a groundbreaking endeavour to understand what it means to be human. They forged poetry of radical protest against a dark world that was descending upon Britain.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a prophecy that science might be used to corrupt nature, a warning people are still preaching to this day. The words of the Romantics are brought to life by Dudley Sutton, David Threlfall and Cara Horgan.