Walter Savage Landor: Imaginary Conversations
Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) remained a political radical after Coleridge and Wordsworth had given up their early enthusiasm for the democratic phase of the French Revolution. He was a great traveler as well as a prolific author of verse and of prose, of which his Imaginary Conversations are probably the best-known works. They were published over a period of thirty years from 1824. Many are historical. The selection here, however, deals with an event of Landor’s own time. It is a Romantic view of what many took to be a romantic act—the murder of Kotzebue (a popular conservative dramatist in the employ of the Russian government) by Karl Sandt, a probably unbalanced member of the Burschenshaften, the liberal and nationalist student movement that grew up just after the Napoleonic wars. The act itself served as a pretext for the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819, which brought the German universities under strict governmental control and disrupted the liberal movement.
KeywordsLiberal Movement French Revolution Russian Government Prolific Author Primitive System
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