THERE was in the nineteenth century a great increase in the production of books-closely associated with the cheap manufacturing processes introduced by the Industrial Revolution and with the wider spread of education. There was much great poetry still to be written when the century began, but the epoch especially developed two hitherto little-known forms of literature-the Novel and the History. The century continued what is known as the Romantic Revival in verse and prose. It had begun in the eighteenth century, principally in Germany and England, and was fiercely resisted in France until the 1830's. Briefly it meant a taste for novel verse-metres, simple, not to say crude, language, and very often an interest in past times or distant places-the Middle Ages, the gorgeous East, the untrodden plains of America, or rustic life nearer home. It aroused remorseless combats between " classicists " and " romanticists."
There are many great names among the romantics: Goethe in Germany stands above them all. The fashion was reflected in religion with a strong revival of the Catholic and missionary spirits; in art with Constable, Corot, the Barbizon school, and the pre-Raphaelites; and in architecture with the resurrection of Gothic which can be seen in half the public buildings of England, most prominently in the Houses of Parliament, planned to order by Sir Charles Barry, whose own tastes were for the Italian Renaissance, and marvellously bedizened with Gothic detail by his collaborator, Pugin. The mid-century saw industrialised tastes prevailing in architecture, art, furniture, and those forms of literature which are most influenced by supply and demand. These were displaced towards the end of the century by a conventional prettiness in tangible things. Literature reacts quickly to changes in taste, and in the last decades of the century the cult of what the twentieth century languidly calls "red-bloodedness " became popular in Robert Louis Stevenson and Kipling.
Music also experienced changes. Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms used the old forms to express Romantic feeling, while Liszt and Berlioz expressed their Byronic emotions in descriptive or " programme" music. In the 'forties and 'fifties the uncouth genius of Wagner created the same storm in the world of music as Victor Hugo, the leading Romantic, had created in literature. His final triumph, however, has not reduced the prestige of his great predecessors. Towards the end of the century the subdued mystical harmonies of Debussy led the way to new departures.