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This chapter examines the remarkable growth in the popularity of mountain climbing in Britain during the Romantic period, as adventurous fell-walkers went in search of the sublime. Mountain summits were increasingly seen as the ultimate sublime location and ascent as a near-guaranteed way to experience psychological as well as physical elevation. The chapter explores the links between mountains and the sublime in the period’s aesthetic theories before examining how the literature of British domestic tourism described the sublime pleasures of ascents to British summits. It investigates the relationship between the presentation of sublime experiences on British mountains and those on the higher peaks of the Alps and traces the emergence of Snowdon in Wales, Skiddaw in the Lake District, and Ben Lomond in Scotland as pre-eminent British sublime locations. It shows how, as summits became more crowded, thrill-seeking climbers increasingly ventured to more remote and dangerous locations to experience the sublime.
Resistance training is an important aspect of healthy ageing, yet participation rates are especially low among older people. Strategies are needed to ensure resistance training programmes are attractive to and appropriate for this target group. To inform the development of such strategies, individual interviews (N = 42) and focus groups (four groups, N = 37) were conducted with 79 Western Australians representing four stakeholder groups: instructors who deliver resistance training programmes to older people, health practitioners, policy makers and seniors. Results indicate that the need for personalised attention in the establishment and maintenance phases of a resistance training programme can constitute both a positive and negative aspect of older people's experiences. The negative aspects were identified as a series of tensions between the need for personalised attention and (a) the desire to participate in physical activity within social groups, (b) a preference for activity variation, (c) a dislike for large centres where personalised guidance is often available yet the surroundings can be considered unappealing, (d) cost issues and (e) the need for flexibility in attendance. Recommended strategies for overcoming these tensions include disseminating information about the benefits of resistance training in later life to increase motivation to participate, identifying additional methods of integrating resistance training into group exercise formats, making gyms more attractive to older people and providing non-gym alternatives for resistance training.
In his essay ‘Mr Wordsworth’ in The Spirit of the Age (1825), the radical essayist William Hazlitt offers a polemical, tendentious and highly influential account of the relationship between the French Revolution and the work of one of the era's most important poets. Opening with a flourish, Hazlitt makes the historicist argument that ‘Mr Wordsworth's genius is a pure emanation of the Spirit of the Age’, proceeding to present the poet as a verse terrorist (in the 1790s sense of the word):
[His poetry] is one of the innovations of the time. It partakes of, and is carried along with, the revolutionary movement of our age: the political changes of the day were the model on which he formed and conducted his poetical experiments. His Muse (it cannot be denied, and without this we cannot explain its character at all) is a levelling one. It proceeds on a principle of equality, and strives to reduce all things to the same standard.
(WH Works, vol. xi, p. 87)
Wordsworth, Hazlitt suggests, marches poetry to the guillotine with a Robespierrean ruthlessness, striving to rid it of its literary heritage and its generic hierarchies:
His popular, inartificial style gets rid (at a blow) of all the trappings of verse, of all the high places of poetry . . . The purple pall, the nodding plume of tragedy are exploded as mere pantomime and trick, to return to the simplicity of truth and nature. Kings, queens, priests, nobles, the altar and the throne, the distinctions of rank, birth, wealth, power, ‘the judge’s robe, the marshal’s truncheon, the ceremony that to great ones ’longs,’ are not to be found here. The author tramples on the pride of art with greater pride. The Ode and Epode, the Strophe and the Antistrophe, he laughs to scorn. The harp of Homer, the trump of Pindar and of Alcæus are still. The decencies of costume, the decorations of vanity are stripped off without mercy as barbarous, idle, and Gothic.
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