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About this exhibition

This exhibition covers the period of the Romantic movement, from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century, when literature embraced imagination and emotion in reaction to the preceding age of Reason.

Perhaps the most enduringly popular books from that time are the novels of Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley’s gothic horror story, Frankenstein. A first edition of Northanger Abbey is on display next to a first edition of the gothic novel it parodies, Mrs Radcliffe’s The mysteries of Udolpho.

This exhibition also features the famous Romantic poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats, Robert Burns and William Blake. There are significant early editions (such as the first edition of Lyrical ballads from 1798) as well as some modern interpretations of famous poems (Keats' To autumn, by book artist David Esslemont). There are also original handwritten letters by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, Sir Humphry Davy and Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, all of which come from Sir George Grey's gift.
Visit the library

Sir George Grey Special Collections
Level 2, Central City Library

11 March - 22 June
Weekdays: 9am - 5pm
Weekends: 10am - 4pm


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