Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slave trade
1805 - Wordsworth completes the twelve-book Prelude; Battle of Trafalgar
1807 - Abolition of slave-trading in British ships; Wordsworth publishes Poems in Two Volumes
The abolition of slave-trading in British ships was met with a strong chorus of approval from the Romantics, many of whom had been expressing Abolitionist opinions in their works for several years. Blake was particularly vocal in his opposition to the slave trade and describes in London the revulsion he experiences upon hearing the sound of the ‘mind-forg’d manacles’. Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound contains symbols which echo the iconography of the anti-slavery movement, and Byron’s depiction of ‘Oriental’ slavery in works such as Don Juan and Sardanapalus is often interpreted as an allusion to objections against the slavery found in the colonies.
Poems in Two Volumes was a collection of shorter lyric poems and included works such as "Daffodils" and "Ode: On the Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood". Prior to the publication of Poems in Two Volumes Wordsworth had only been known publicly because of Lyrical Ballads; he hoped that this new collection would cement his reputation as a noted poet. Although the collection received only a lukewarm response from the critics, it earned the poet the admiration of a generation of younger writers, Thomas de Quincey among them.
1808 - Goethe writes Faust Part I