British Poetry and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: Visions of Conflict

Hardcover | April 8, 2004

bySimon Bainbridge

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This book argues that poetry played a major role in the mediation of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars to the British public, and that the wars had a significant impact on poetic practices and theories in the Romantic period. It examines a wide range of writers, both canonical (Wordsworth,Coleridge, and Byron) and non-canonical (Smith, Southey, Scott, and Hemans), and locates their work within the huge amount of war poetry published in newspapers and magazines. It shows that poetry was a crucial form through which what were seen as the first modern or 'total' wars were imagined inBritain and that it was central to the cultural and political debates over the conflict with France. While the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars compelled poets to re-examine their roles, it was poetry itself which produced a major transformation of the imagining of war that would be influentialthroughout the nineteenth century.

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This book argues that poetry played a major role in the mediation of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars to the British public, and that the wars had a significant impact on poetic practices and theories in the Romantic period. It examines a wide range of writers, both canonical (Wordsworth,Coleridge, and Byron) and non-canonical (Sm...

Simon Bainbridge is a Professor of English Literature, University of Keele.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.74 inPublished:April 8, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198187580

ISBN - 13:9780198187585

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviations1. Poetry in 'The Age of War'2. The poetic imagining of war in the 1790s: Charlotte Smith and Samuel Taylor Coleridge3. 'Was it for this . . . ?': war and poetic identity in Southey and Wordsworth, 1793-18024. 'Men are we': poetry, war, and gender in Wordsworth's political sonnets, 1802-35. Walter Scott's picturesque romance of war, 1805-146. 'History in the land of romance': poetry and the Peninsular war, 1808-147. 'Of war and taking towns': Byron's and Heman's post-Waterloo poetry, 1816-25Epilogue: the 'Sir Walter disease' and the legacy of romantic warBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Bainbridge brings out very well the tensions that evolve in the poetry of war during this period around the topics of individualism and impersonality."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 "Bainbridge has produced an admirably researched, jargon-free, scholarly book that increases our knowledge of the effects of warfare on the imaginations of writers and readers of the romantic age and will prove a valuable resource for both teachers and critics. For that alone it merits praise. But Bainbridge's study serves a further laudable function by indirectly challenging us to examine the roles that imagination is currently playing in defining our responses to another war that is unprecedented in the world's annals."--Studies in Romanticism