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Ayn Rand - A False Romantic The Romantic period during its height extended over just a bit more than a century, from the latter half of the nineteenth century through to nearly the end of the nineteenth century. During this age, a new school of poetry had been forged, and together with it, a new ethical philosophy. But, as the twentieth century wound up, the Romantic movement appeared to be demonstrating itself far more determined by the specific cultural occasions it spanned compared to many believed; that is, the motion was starting to wind down in time with all the ebbing of the urban and industrial boom in much the exact same way that the movement was out of the initial period of industrial and urban expansion. Thus, it would be simple to classify the Romantic movement as inherently tied into its cultural context. The problem, then, comes when artists and writers outside of the time period-and indeed in contexts very different then the ones of the initial Romantic poets-begin to label themselves as Romantics. The twentieth century author Ayn Rand, author of works such as The Fountainhead, Anthem, and Atlas Shrugged, is just one such example of a self-labeled Romantic. In 1971 Rand printed a selection of essays in a novel she titled The Romantic Manifesto. This series of essays, together with topics ranging from romantic artwork to the nature of a book, closely lays out Rand's concept of Romanticism and her place in it. The question you must ask, then, is the way can Rand manage to write a work of almost two hundred pages on the essence of Romanticism without ever once mentioning some of the main Romantic poets: Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and so on. The obvious answer would seem to be the Rand's concept of Romanticism has to be diametrically opposed to that of...