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Sleep and Poetry” shows, however, Keats was determined to discipline himself: even before February 1820, when he first began to cough blood, he may have known that he had not long to live, and he devoted himself to the expression of his vision with feverish intensity.He experimented with many kinds of poems: “Isabella” (published 1820), an adaptation of a tale by Giovanni Boccaccio, is a tour de force of craftsmanship in its attempt to reproduce a medieval atmosphere and at the same time a poem involved in contemporary politics.

Having thrown down the gauntlet in his early poem (1809), in which he directed particular scorn at poets of sensibility and declared his own allegiance to Milton, Dryden, and Pope, he developed a poetry of dash and flair, in many cases with a striking hero.Walpole’s innovation was not significantly imitated until the 1790s, when—perhaps because the violence of the French Revolution created a taste for a correspondingly extreme mode of fiction—a torrent of such works appeared.The most important writer of these stories was Ann Radcliffe, who distinguished between “terror” and “horror.” Terror “expands the soul” by its use of “uncertainty and obscurity.” Horror, on the other hand, is actual and specific.Walpole’s intention was to “blend” the fantastic plot of “ancient romance” with the realistic characterization of “modern” (or novel) romance.Characters would respond with terror to extraordinary events, and readers would vicariously participate.

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