The Romantic Revolution

In the catalogue of great ideas, few have had as significant an impact as those connected with the Romantics. A perpetual font of individualism, passion, and creativity, the Romantics have influenced the course of western civilization out of all proportion to their numbers. Veteran historian Tim Blanning, long the authority on this period, details the genesis, flowering, and triumphs of the philosophies and lifestyles first expressed by the likes of Goethe, Wordsworth, and Keats.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…