Travel Guides: United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is an independent state in Western Europe.
It consists of four traditional countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and several dependent territories. Its capital city is London. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is called shortly United Kingdom, even if the name is not entirely correct because only United Kingdom means England, Scotland and Wales. United Kingdom should not be confused with England – one of the constituent countries. Most of it is located near the northwest coast of mainland continental Europe, the kingdom being surrounded by the North Sea, English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. The United Kingdom is one of the countries of the world in terms of culture diversity.
UK consists of four historic state authorities – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The total land area is 243.800 km² and a population of about 62 million inhabitants. The United Kingdom is one of the most attractive tourist countries. The reasons are numerous. For some people it provides a unique urban architecture and monuments, for others it will be a beautiful country, with sheep grazing, beautiful lakes and mountains. The younger generation is sure to be called by the local nightlife. Sports enthusiasts will not miss a football match in one of the best leagues in the world. A large number of immigrants, mainly from India and Pakistan, bring the overall culture of their tradition and customs. The result is a colorful and exciting environment that generates practically the cultural cosmopolitan character of the country.
United Kingdom is made of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland, the last being located in the north of Ireland Island. The full Name of the country is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The short name is used in the United Kingdom and the English name initials: UK. The United Kingdom is the largest island nation in Europe, occupying the British Isles (Britain, the largest of European islands) and other smaller islands and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom is surrounded, for the most part, by the Atlantic Ocean and its seas. Relief: it has generally
low altitudes, which gives the impression of low plains with the prevalence of step, plus, the lower surfaces, hills and low mountains stage. Geological substrate shows that it is mostly old rock hard, characteristic of mountainous regions that belong to Europe of Caledonian (north) times and Hecinic (south).
These rocks have been extensively eroded and former mountain units were converted in plateaus and even plain. Because of this glacier during the last ice age, the largest part of the territory, suffered a full remodeling (erosion). The main relief units are: Plain of Southern England (London plain), Penine Mountains, Caledonian Mountains and Grampian Mountains (in the north, where is located the highest peak, Ben Nevis, 1343 m). Climate: The UK has a temperate oceanic climate. It is characterized by mild winters, moderate summers and low thermal amplitudes. Rainfall is high, registering up to 2000 mm annually. Another feature is the high cloudiness. A special case is the so-called London smog, a mixture of industrial smoke and fog. The UK is rich in waters. There are numerous rivers that flow, but short, only two exceeding 300 km in length: Thames and Severn.
Thanks to the estuaries heights and high flow, ocean vessels can penetrate inside the country. This explains the fact that London, a city situated on the Thames, is a very important port. On the low plains, we have a true system of waterways. There are also numerous lakes, the main tectonic and glacial origin, especially in Scotland. Loch Ness has a reputation which, according to some claims, it would host a lake monster named “Nessie”. Vegetation: Pastures are the dominant plant associations, which cover half the country. The forests, mostly deciduous, occupy small stretches, thanks to the wood over time (especially for building ships and expansion of arable land and pasture). Population: UK is one of the most populated European countries and also across the globe. The number of people is stagnant but for a long time, thanks to a low natural increase, is approaching zero. It has, instead, a high density. Most of the population (about 4 / 5) and the highest density (350 inhabitants / km²) is registered in England and in are mainly in the southeast, including, among others, London and surroundings.
The population of the United Kingdom consists of England (who are the majority), Scottish, Wales and Ireland. The United Kingdom is characterized by one of the highest rates of urban population in the world. Main cities are: London (4 million, the city itself, but with the urban agglomeration 9 million), Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester. The UK has one of the most developed and sophisticated economies in the world. It was a long time, influenced and supported by the great colonial empire which it supported. Although during the 20 century it lost gradually supremacy on global economy, first in front of the US then Germany and other countries, the UK remains still, one of the major world economic powers.
Location: Western Europe, island in the North Atlantic. Area: 244.820 sq km. Administrative units: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Capital: London (7,517,700 inhabitants), a city of elegance and refinement, hosts behind the gates towers, impressive palaces (Buckingham Palace, Westminster Palace), architectural masterpieces (St. Paul’s Cathedral), impressive museums and galleries (British Museum, the Museum Madame Tussauds, the National Gallery, Tate Gallery), noisy markets (Trafalgar Square), docks and parks (Hyde Park, West End Gardens), hotels, cinemas, restaurants and clubs. Here, near Piccadilly Circus, London found the famous theaters in which Shakespeare plays are today.
Main cities: London (the capital of England), Edinburgh (the capital of Scotland), Cardiff (the capital of Wales), Belfast (Northern Ireland capital). International Relations: The United Kingdom is a member of UN, EU, NATO, Commonwealth, G-8, OSCE, Council of Europe, WTO and other international organizations. GDP (2005 estimate): Total – US $ 1.833 trillion (6th place in the world) per capita – 30.470 USD (18th place in the world). National Language: Although Britain has no official language, the predominant language is English. The other main indigenous languages are insular Celtic languages and Celtic languages in the British Isles – Gaelic, Irish and Scottish. Immigrants who came after World War II, including those from Commonwealth, speak a large number of languages, including Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Cantonese, Turkish and Polish. Britain has the largest number of Hindi and Punjabi speakers living outside Asia.
Symbols: British flag is the Union Flag (known as the “Union Jack”). It was created by superimposing the flags of England (St. George Cross) and Scotland (Saint Andrew’s Cross) who were added in 1801, St. Patrick’s Cross, representing Ireland; The national anthem is “God Save the Queen”; Britannia is a personification of the United Kingdom, which has its origin in the occupation of southern and central Great Britain by the Romans. Britain is symbolized by a young black woman with blonde hair, wearing a Corinthian helmet and white robes. She holds a hand of Poseidon’s trident and the other a shield bearing the Union Flag. Sometimes she is depicted as riding a lion. The acceptance of modern Britain is often associated with sea power, for example in the patriotic song “Rule Britannia”.
The lion is another symbol of Great Britain; a lion is depicted behind Britannia on the 50 pence coin and 10 pence coin has on the reverse, a lion; the lion is also used as a symbol, on the flag of British Army non-ceremonial. Lions have been used as heraldic, coat of arms including the kingdoms of England, Scotland and the Kingdom of Gwynedd in Wales. The lion is the emblem of the England national soccer team, being the origin of the popular football anthem “Three Lions”. The bulldog is sometimes used as a symbol of Great Britain. Britain is personified by the character John Bull. National Day: The United Kingdom’s National Day is not celebrated as in other countries. Only in Northern Ireland (and the Republic of Ireland) St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday.
All other national days are normal working days: March 1 – St. David – the National Day of Wales; March 17 – St. Patrick – is Northern Ireland’s National Day and Republic of Ireland; 23 April – St George – is the National Day of England; November 30 – St. Andrews – is the National Day of Scotland. Second Saturday of June is celebrated in Britain as the official agenda of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday. Other information: Time Zone: GMT (UTC+0), Summer Time: BST (UTC+1); Separation of the decimal is made by point: 123.45. United Kingdom is located in the vicinity of the northwest coast of Europe. Its official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Island territory is composed of Britain, north of the island of Ireland and about 1,000 small islands that are in the surrounding seas.
United Kingdom is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas: North Sea, English Channel, Celtic Sea and Irish Sea. In the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland province has land borders with the Republic of Ireland. UK has 14 overseas territories, spread all over the world, of great diversity: from Pitcaim located in the Pacific Island with 47 residents and up to Bermuda, located in the Atlantic Ocean, one of the most important financial centers in the world. Other areas of the Kingdom are: British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayma Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena, South Georgia Islands and many others. The main administrative units are: Great Britain, with its capital in London, the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Principality of Wales, whose capital city is Cardiff and the province of Northern Ireland, with Belfast as its capital.
London is the largest European city with eight million inhabitants and most of the ethnically diversified, people speaking about 200 languages and 30 percent of the population is made up of immigrants. The main attractions of the city are: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, Royal Observatory Greewich, Madame Tussauds, Trafalguare Square and many others. London’s nightlife is very wobbly, pubs, restaurants and night clubs meeting at any step. Capital of Scotland and its second largest city is Edinburgh. The city, which prevailed under the old gothic architecture, extends to the port of Leith Castle. It has preserved the medieval old town atmosphere and many reformist-era buildings. Here you can see buildings such as the Cathedral St. Giles, the Court of Justice, the Royal Museum, Surgeons Hall and McEvan Hall.
The city is all too modern and beautiful, the main tourist attractions in this area are: George Street, Princes Street and Queen Street and built according to current market Charlotte being considered one of the most beautiful Georgian squares in the world. Edinburgh hosts the Edinburgh Festival, when the city is full of drama, creativity and thousands of tourists from around the world or the new Hogmanay Festival, when the star becomes the Scottish whiskey. Cardiff is the capital of Wales, a very popular destination among tourists because of its history and culture. The most modern city is Mermaids Quay, which houses the most modern buildings, beautiful work of art, restaurants, bars and numerous clubs and selected stores. In the old city is Cardiff Castle, built on the foundations of a Roman fort that became one of the residences in the nineteenth century of the Marquis of Bute. Visitors have access to the Nomad Fort, Welshman museum and Roman ruins.
The castle is the most beautiful part of Bute, decorated with lots of artwork. Other attractions in the old city are Galez Millennium Centre, Landaff Cathedral, Castle Coch, Norwegian Church and the National Museum and Galleries Wales. Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, a place where Irish culture is combined with the British. The locals are very friendly and the restaurant and bar owners welcome each customer as if they have are old friends. Belfast boasts with the building of the Titanic, offering its guests a tour. The most beautiful buildings in town are: Waterfront Hall, a huge concert hall and conference, the Bar Council and Bar Library, Queens University, St. Anne, Belfast Opera House, the Museum has many treasures including the antiques of the invincible Armada and Stormont Parliament Building.
UK has been built around the independent kingdoms of England and Scotland, both existing since the tenth century. Wales is part of the Kingdom of English since 1535. By the Act of Union in 1707, England and Scotland are united under one monarch law, forming the Kingdom of Great Britain; the two kingdoms had been led by the same monarch since 1603. After nearly a century, in 1800, Parliament passed the so-called Act of Union in 1800, in which the country is changing again, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It is enshrined as gradually bring the Ireland under English control, a process that took place between the twelfth century and the seventeenth century. However, internal disagreements on how Ireland is governed have led to Irish independence in 1922, which maintain a dominion status.
North (Northern Ireland, sometimes called Ulster) remained part of the United Kingdom, the last name change state resulting in its present form, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Gradually, benefiting from its maritime power, and the Industrial Revolution, United English and, later, British expanded so heavily towards the east (India, Oceania) as well as the west side, in America discovered by Columbus. In the mid-nineteenth century, the United Kingdom was the most important economic and military world power. Many contemporary ideas of the Western world about parliamentary democracy, market economy and freedom were born in the British Empire, not to mention the progress made in literature and science. At its peak, the Empire occupied a quarter of Earth’s surface.
Together with France and Russia created the Triple Entente. UK won the First World War. Since the early twentieth century, British influence has declined steadily. World War II brought under the serious economic problems the dismantling of the Empire, by separating the colonies to independent states. This led to the reinvention of the United Kingdom as a modern and prosperous European state. The United Kingdom is a member of the European Economic Community since 1973, but the British attitude towards the single European market is rather reserved. UK refuses to adopt the euro and Euro skepticism remains strong.
Political reform in the United Kingdom is in full swing. In 1997 it was recreated regional Scottish Parliament and the parliaments were established in 1999 in Wales and Northern Ireland. The monarchy enjoyed further popularity, while Republicans gather between 15% and 25% share of popularity. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth, a permanent member of UN Security Council, and also a key member of NATO. It is also one of the few nuclear powers (four Vanguard class submarines with 384 thermonuclear MIRV warheads on Trident II missile). The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy in which executive power is attributed to the Government and comes from the Parliament. It is one of the few countries that have no current Constitution.
The prime minister is head of government and is responsible to the House of Commons, lower house of Parliament. This system of government has been emulated in other parts of the world and is known as the Westminster model. Sovereign has extensive powers in theory but in practice only fulfills ceremonial functions. Sovereign is the one who enacts laws issued by Parliament. He also opens each year session of Parliament to the so-called Crown Post, which is actually a government program. Sovereign is the monarch of United Kingdom law and 15 other Commonwealth countries. The current ruler of the United Kingdom is the Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952 and was crowned in 1953. Parliament is the national legislative institution of the Kingdom. It is composed of two chambers: House of Commons, with members elected and the House of Lords, whose members are generally appointed.
House of Commons has greater powers than the Lords, and may pass laws rejected by the latter. House of Commons is composed of 646 members, each being elected from a constituency, first past the post system, known as “the winner takes it all” – the candidate with the highest number of votes in a constituency wins mandate . House of Lords has 724 members, from among the British aristocracy and clergy. Government ministers are chosen by agreement between members of the House of Commons, although some also come from the House of Lords. Ministers are invested with executive and legislative powers. The Prime Minister is usually the head of the party with the most representatives in the House of Commons. The current Prime Minister is Gordon Brown, Labor party chairman.
The United Kingdom has a very comprehensive social protection system, and proclaims a “Welfare State”. Fundamentals of current social protection system have been made by the economist William Beveridge in 1942. This system remained known as the Beveridge model. Subdivisions: The United Kingdom is composed of the constituent countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each country has its own constituent subdivisions, as follows: England is divided into nine regions: East of England, East Midlands, Greater London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. In turn, these regions are divided into administrative districts and unitary authorities, with the exception of Greater London, which is divided into boroughs.
Scotland is divided into 32 council areas; Wales consists of 22 unitary authorities: 10 county boroughs, 9 counties and 3 cities; Northern Ireland is divided into 26 districts. There are several Crown dependencies: Anguilla, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Channel Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Isle of Man, Isle of Montserrat, Pitcairn Island, Saint Helena Island, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory. England landscape consists mostly of low hills, separated from north to south by a chain of hills and mountains. Mountain peaks altitudes do not exceed 1000 m. The major English rivers are the Thames, Severn, Trent and Ouse. Most major cities are London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool, Leicester and Nottingham. Channel Tunnel, which begins near Dover, links it with France.
Wales is mostly mountainous, the highest point being the top of Snowdon, to 1085 m. The largest city is the capital, Cardiff, followed by Swansea, Newport and Wrexham. Scotland geography is varied, with lower portions in the south and east, and mountainous parts (highlands) in the north and west, where there are and Ben Nevis (1343 m), highest peak in the Kingdom. Off the Scottish coast are numerous islands, the most important being archipelagos Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney. Main cities are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. Northern Ireland is a predominantly hilly terrain. The major cities are Belfast and Londonderry. The UK has an essentially capitalist economy (the fourth largest in the world), and is a leading commercial and financial center of the world. In recent decades, the government has undertaken major privatizations and increased spending on social protection.
Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized and very efficient by European standards, producing 60% of food for only 1% of the working population. UK has large reserves of constant energy in coal, natural gas and oil (the latter two operated in the North Sea). Energy production contributes 10% of GDP, one of the highest rates of all industrialized countries. Services contribute to GDP in the most significant proportion, particularly banking, insurance and business consulting. Industry share continues to decline, although the UK remains the most important European manufacturer of arms, petroleum products, computers, televisions and mobile phones. Tourism also occupies an important place, the United Kingdom as a tourist destination in the world’s sixth in popularity, with 24 million tourists per year.
United Kingdom in 2007 became the largest exporter of military equipment in the world. UK arms exports gain from GBP 10 billion in 2007, thus accounting for 33% share of global arms exports over the share of US. Currently, the unemployment rate is 5.3%. UK unemployment rate could reach 8% by 2012, according to Capital Economics consultancy company estimates. In 2009, foreign direct investment in the United Kingdom was 45.6 billion dollars. Population: 61,113,205 (July 2009 estimate). Structure: 0-14 years: 16.7% (male 4,986,131, 5.233.756 female); 15-64 years: 67.1% (male 20,246,519, 20.774.192 female); 65 years and over: 16.2% (male 5,612,953, 4.259.654 female) (2009 estimate). The average age: total: 40.2 years, male: 39.1 years, female: 41.3 years (2009 estimate).
Natural increase: 0.279% (2009 estimate). Birth: 10.65 births / 1,000 people (2009 estimate). Mortality: 10.05 deaths / 1,000 people (2008 estimate). Migration rate: + 2.16 migrants / 1,000 people (2009 estimate). Urbanization: Urban population: 90% of the total population (2008). Urbanization rate: 0.5% annual rate (2005-10 estimates). Sex Distribution: at birth: 1.05 male / female; under 15 years: 1.05 male / female; 15-64 years: 1.03 male / female; 65 years and over: 0.76 male / female. Mortality at birth: total: 4.85 deaths / 1,000 live births; Life expectancy at birth: Total Population: 79.01 years, male: 76.52 years, female: 81.63 years (2009 estimate). Fertility: 1.66 births per woman (2009 estimate). Population with HIV / AIDS: 0.2% (2007 estimate), 77,000 people (2007 estimate). Deaths caused by HIV / AIDS – more than 500 dead (2007). Ethnic groups: 83.6% English; Scottish 8.6%; Gaelic 4.9%; Ireland 2.9%; 2% Black; Indians 1.8%; Pakistani 1.3%; Mixed 1.2%; Others 1.6% (2001 census).
Religion: Christians (Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%; Muslim 2.7%; 1% Hindu; Other 1.6%; Unspecified or atheist 23.1% (2001 census). Languages: English, Gaelic (26% of the population of Wales) and others. Primary language of communication is English. Other local languages are used in Celtic languages: Welsh (Gaelic), Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Cornish language spoken in Cornwall. Recent decade’s immigrants speak Cantonese, Indian languages (Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi) or Jamaican Creole. In the United Kingdom are most speakers of Indian languages outside the Indian subcontinent.
In the United Kingdom are two of the oldest and most famous universities of the world, Oxford and Cambridge. UK has given the world many brilliant scientists and engineers such as Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday and Paul Dirac or Isambard Brunel; inventions such as steam engines, internal combustion engine, locomotive, outfit, vaccine, crystal dishes, television, radio, telephone, software, hovercraft, have their origin in the United Kingdom. Playwright William Shakespeare is considered the world’s most famous writer. Other authors were eminent: Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne), Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and Charles Dickens. Major poets are George Gordon Byron, Robert Burns, Lord Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, William Blake or Dylan Thomas.
From the United Kingdom came composers William Byrd, John Taverner, Thomas Tallis and Henry Purcell, from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and most recently, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. Besides the US, the UK has been a great contributor to rock and roll. Among the most important British rock and pop stars we remember the Beatles, Cliff Richard, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of punk music of the 1970s, the Sex Pistols or The Clash, and the rebirth of heavy metal by Iron Maiden or Motörhead. A large number of sports have their origin in the United Kingdom: football, golf, cricket, tennis, squash, boxing, rugby and billiards. Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis. National sport of the Kingdom is football, but United did not compete in cross-country with a single national team, each component has its own country and its football federation and national team.
The term English literature refers to literature written in English, or literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; Joseph Conrad was Polish, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Edgar Allan Poe was American, Salman Rushdie was Indian. In academia, the term designates British Studies departments or programs. This was necessary because the general label for all former colonies of the British Empire emerged each with their own separate literature variety of English. In other words, English literature is as diverse as the variants of English spoken in the world. Elizabethan Literature: It is also known as William Shakespeare’s era. Queen Elizabeth was a patron and protector of the theater and playwrights, and theaters frequented London’s most popular of which was the Globe Theater.
In the Elizabethan era there was a flourishing of literature, particularly in theater. Italian Renaissance rediscovered the ancient Greek and Roman Theater, which led it to move in another direction to the ancient religious parts of the Middle Ages. The Italians were particularly inspired by Seneca (a great writer and philosopher, the tutor of Nero) and Plaut (its comic clichés, especially which of the braggart soldier, had a strong influence on the Renaissance and after). However, the Italian tragedies have innovated something contrary to Seneca’s ethics: the presence of blood and violence on stage. In Seneca’s plays such scenes were only mimicked by the characters. But British authors have been fascinated by Italian model: a remarkable community of Italian actors was installed in London and Giovanni Florio brought a lot of Italian language and culture in England. Also Elizabethan era was very violent and frequent political assassinations in Renaissance Italy (described in “The Prince” by Machiavelli Nicollo) encouraged this fashion.
Consequently, the portrayal of violence on stage was purifiers for Elizabethan spectators. The first Elizabethan pieces were Gorboduc by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton and Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy has been an important source of inspiration for Hamlet. William Shakespeare stands out in this period as a poet and playwright still unsurpassed. Shakespeare was not a literary profession, and probably only studied grammar. He was no lawyer, nor an aristocrat, as were university intellectuals who monopolized English scene when he began to write. But he was very gifted and incredibly versatile, surpassing professionals and that Greene’s mocking this stirring scene of obscure origin. Although many of his dramas have been very successful, until years later he wrote his greatest pieces: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra and The Tempest, a tragicomedy that main action is part of a pompous ceremony at the new king.
This play in the play takes the form of a mask, an interlude with music and dance, special effects colored new indoor theater has recently appeared at that time. Critics have shown that this masterpiece, which can be considered a full-fledged piece, was written for James’s court, not for James himself. Prospero’s magical art, which depends on outcome of the story, send it to the relationship between art and nature in poetry. Significantly for those times (the arrival of the first settlers in America), the action “Storm” takes place (though not obvious) on an island of Bermuda, as research has revealed about Bermuda Pamphlets (1609), linking it to Shakespeare and Virginia Company. News from the New World, as Frank Kermode reports are already published and Shakespeare’s interest in this direction is remarkable.
Shakespeare also popularized the English sonnet, making significant changes to Petrarch’s model. Sonnet was introduced into English by Thomas Wyatt in the early sixteenth century. Poems that were written with the intention of being used in songs, such as those by Thomas Champion, became popular as printed literature in the home more easily reached. Other important figures in Elizabethan theater are Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. If Marlowe (1564-1593) would not have been stabbed when he was twenty-nine years in a tavern brawl, he would have rivaled, if not matched, even Shakespeare in his poetic talent. He was born just a few weeks before Shakespeare probably knew him better. Marlowe’s subjects, however, are different: it focuses more on man’s moral drama of the Renaissance. Marlowe was fascinated and frightened by the new frontiers opened by modern science.
German-inspired, introduced Dr. Faustus to England, a scientist and magician who is obsessed by the thirst for knowledge and desire to lead the powers of the limits of human technology. He acquires supernatural gifts that even allow him to travel back in time to marry Helen of Troy, but at the end of this pact with the devil for twenty-four years, the soul must surrender them. Dark heroes may have something of Marlowe himself, whose premature death remains a mystery. He was known as an atheist, leading a lawless life, with many mistresses, friends with the homeless: leading the life of London’s lower social strata. But many suspect that it could be a cover for his activities as a secret agent for Elizabeth I, suggesting that the stabbing was accidental as a premeditated murder by the enemies of the crown.
Beaumont and Fletcher are less known, but almost certainly helped Shakespeare write some of the best dramas, and were quite popular at that time. Around the same time the city has grown like comedy. In the late sixteenth century English poetry was characterized by the development of language and allusions to classical mythology. Among the most important poets of this era are Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sidney. The wave of change in England led to the emergence of the steam engine that had two major consequences: the flowering of industrialism with the expansion of cities and rural population decrease as a result of encroachment or pasture privatization. Most farmers have turned to the cities to work in new factories. This sudden change of direction is revealed by the 5 keyword: industry (before the meaning of creativity), democracy (which was used in the pejorative sense), class (from now before uses a social connotation), art (which originally meant only trade, profession), culture (that belonged previously only within agriculture).
But the poverty of workers, new social classes and conflicts between environmental pollution causes a negative response to urbanization and industrialization, which determines the value of poets to rediscover the beauty of nature. Mother planet, Earth is seen as the sole source of wisdom, as the only solution against the ugliness is caused by car. The superiority of the instinct of nature and civilization has been preached by Jean Jacques Rousseau and his message was picked up by almost all European poets. The first poets in England were also Lake Poets, a small group of friends including William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. These early romantic poets have brought a new sensibility and meditative technique in poetry. Their occurrence is marked by the first manifesto of the romantic English literature, preface to lyrical ballads. The collection consists mainly of Wordsworth’s poems, but also includes poetry of old seaman, a tragic ballad, a long and impressive about the demon that possesses the soul first and then kill a group of sailors on a ship that goes to the southern seas.
Coleridge and Wordsworth understood, however, the romance in two different ways: while Coleridge seeks to transform the supernatural in real (much the same way those SF movies using special effects to make the impossible in some credible intrigue), Wordsworth searched to stir the imagination of readers through his characters drawn from real life prosaic (like “Idiot”) or the beauty of the lakes of the province was the inspiration for much of the work (as in “Tintern Cathedral”). A second generation of Romantic poets includes Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats. But Byron was still influenced by satiric of the 18th century and was probably the least romantic of the three. His loves with a considerable number of important and married women of that time were still a way to demonstrate opposition to the hypocrisy of high society that was apparently only faithful, but in fact it was rather liberal, the same company that ridiculed for physical incapacity.
His first trip to the mainland has resulted in writing the two chants of Childe Harold’s pilgrimage, a poem about the heroes-comic adventures of a man in Europe but also a sharp satire against the company in England. Despite the success of Childe Harold’s return to England with Giaour and Corsair, incest his alleged affair with his half-sister Augusta Leigh in 1816 actually forced him to leave England for good and seek asylum on the continent. Thus, in 1816 he joined Shelley and his wife, Mary, along with his secretary John Polidori on the shores of Lake Geneva. Polidori is the one who introduced the vampire in English literature even through short stories. Mary Shelley and Byron had more in common: Shelley was part of an aristocratic family, old and known, was an atheist and free-thinker, and like Byron fled England because of a scandal.
Shelley was expelled from college for openly declared his atheism, and then expelled from England to Ireland that supported independence. Married a girl of 16 years, Harriet Westbrook, a drop that soon but for Mary (Harriet committed suicide after the accident). Harriet did not embrace his ideals about free love and anarchism, and was not educated to participate in literary disputes. But Mary was different: she was the daughter of William Godwin the philosopher and revolutionary, shared his ideals and was a poet and feminist like her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. The best work of Shelly was “Ode to the west wind”. Despite its apparent refusal to believe in God, this poem is considered homage to pantheism, the recognition of the existence of a spiritual presence in nature. Mary Shelley has not gone down in history because of her poetry, but that was the initiator of science fiction: the novel’s plot says she was inspired by a dream nightmare during stormy nights spent on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Her idea to create a body of human remains stolen from different corpses and then the anime with electricity was probably influenced by the invention of Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani’s experiments on dying frogs. Frankenstein’s chilling tale brings to mind the modern era of organ transplants, tissue regeneration, reminding us of the moral issues raised by medicine today. However the creature Frankenstein is incredibly romantic. Although the monster is intelligent, kind and loving eyes of all is hidden because of his ugliness and deformity, and despair arising from social exclusion turn him into a killing machine that eventually kills its own creator. John Keats probably did not share very revolutionary ideas of Byron and Shelley, but his cult to pantheism is as important as that of Shelley.
Keats was in love with ancient stones of the Parthenon that Lord Elgin had brought to England in Greece known as the Elgin Marble. He celebrates ancient Greece: the beauty of love when couples, young and free with classical art. Keats’s great attention to art, especially in Ode to a Greek Urn is quite new and will inspire faith in the romance of Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde’s then the absolute value of the independent art of aesthetics. Jane Austen wrote novels about the life of nobles in the countryside, seen from the perspective of a woman’s life and treated them and the concrete social problems, particularly the problem of marriage and money.11