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Romantic Atheism


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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The atheism debate, 1780-1800; 2. Masters of the universe: Lucretius, Sir William Jones, Richard Payne Knight and Erasmus Darwin; 3. And did those feet? Blake in the 1790s; 4. The tribes of mind: the Coleridge circle in the 1790s; 5. Whatsoe'er is dim and vast: Wordsworth in the 1790s; 6. Temples of reason: atheist strategies, 1800-30; 7. Pretty paganism: the Shelley generation in the 1810s; Conclusion; Glossary of theological and other terms; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Promotional Information

This book explores the links between Romantic poetry and the first burst of outspoken atheism in Britain.


"Priestman's study adds the obvious but still overlooked and unquestionably important feature of atheism, especially as it gets expressed in the discourse of Romantic poetry. By addressing attacks (both oblique and direct) on conventional religion expressed in Romantic poetry, Priestman presents us with a study that is long overdue." Religion & Literature "...a very conscientious, diligent, helpful, even moving book. Readers who share his assumptions may consider it definative." North Dakota Quarterly

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