In The Mysteries of Udolpho: A Romance, published in 1794 by Ann Radcliffe, the passivity of the individual in regards to her natural surroundings is paramount. The idea that landscape is of primary influence on the reader and character, as Radcliffe "word-paints" her countryside, seems initially similar to Tintern Abbey (text). Radcliffe, although retaining some of the more serene aspects of Wordsworth's work, eschews the active coexistence of the individual and her environment seen so strongly in Tintern Abbey. Emily is described as silently watching the clouds, without interaction or response. Unlike Wordsworth, Emily is defined by the nature around her. Radcliffe conveys the idea able to convey is that the beauty of nature far surpasses that of man and that man as an individual can only appreciate, as with Emily, viewing the elegant scene in "rapture." Yet unlike Radcliffe, the speaker in Wordsworth's poem reacts to nature actively. The setting he views gives him cause for thought, "And somewhat of a sad perplexity." For Wordsworth, nature not only provides frame views of "rapture," but also provokes thought and emotion. Intellectual and personal stimulation are as intrinsic to a natural landscape as the trees and the slowly rolling river. While both authors reflect on nature, Radcliffe's landscapes dominate the characters, while Wordsworth's provoke.
- Nature, Shelley, and Wordsworth
- Nature in Shelley and Wordsworth
- Nature in Wordsworth and Tennyson
- Wordsworth and Coleridge on Nature
- Wordsworth and Coleridge as Romantic Nature Poets
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