chapter  Five
The Romance and Romanticism
Pages 17

'Romantisme' hesitatingly entered French usage towards the beginning of that century, but even by 1830, Victor Hugo its chief voice in France, was only prepared to define it as 'liberalism in literature'. The romantic spirit in literature had already been at work in Germany well before the turbulent première in 1830 of Hugo's Hernani, which has gone down in history as one of the most decisive literary events in France. Oriental music itself was regarded as a curiosity rather than a work of art to be taken seriously by music lovers and only one example of such a melody found its way into the Revueet Gazette musicale when, in its issue of 28 October 1838, one from Turkey was offered to its readers. La Captive was not, however, Berlioz's first published song, two years earlier he had published, at his own expense, settings of nine texts from Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies.