Essays in Romanticism

Eliza Knipe's "On the Lake of Windermere" and the Limits of the Aesthetic Gaze

Essays in Romanticism (2015), 22, (1), 97–118.

Abstract

This article offers the first modern reading of the collection Poems on Various Subjects (1783), written by Eliza Knipe (later Cobbold). The collection, and in particular her poem "On the Lake of Windermere," offers an early example of how poetry shapes our understanding of the Lake District and lays the groundwork for the popularization of the Lake District as a site of travels in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Knipe's poem enacts a shift in landscape aesthetics from the neoclassical to the picturesque, the latter modeled on the works of Claude Lorrain. The article concludes that Knipe offers a sensitive new model for environmentalism that still has relevance for today.

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Author details

Fulk, Mark K.