March 8th, 2012
Episode 192 of 533 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Lyrical Ballads, the collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge first published in 1798. The work was conceived as an attempt to cast off the stultifying conventions of formal 18th-century poetry. Wordsworth wrote that the poems it contains should be "considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purpose of poetic pleasure."Lyrical Ballads contains some of the best-known work by Coleridge and Wordsworth, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Tintern Abbey - and is today seen as a point of radical departure for poetry in English.With:Judith HawleyProfessor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of LondonJonathan BateProvost of Worcester College, OxfordPeter SwaabReader in English Literature at University College London.Producer: Thomas Morris.