1798 is a significant date in literary history: in that year the Lyrical Ballads were published anonymously by Joseph Cottle, the Bristol bookseller. But this is a volume not about the Lyrical Ballads , but about their year. It is an attempt to re-create and examine the literary culture of 1798, the culture on which Wordsworth and Coleridge decided to make their 'experiment'. It is a book in which Wordsworth and Coleridge vie for attention, as they did in 1798, with many other writers, including Schleiermacher, John Thelwall, Mary Hays, the Abbe Barruel, Walter Savage Landor, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Malthus, Joanna Baillie, George Canning, Robert Sothey and the Reverend T.J. Mathias. The chapters of this book work together to define a single historical moment that marked the beginning of romanticism in England.