Epic and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Simon DentithEpic and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Britain by Simon Dentith

Epic and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Britain

bySimon Dentith

Paperback | November 19, 2009

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In the nineteenth century, epic poetry in the Homeric style was widely seen as an ancient and anachronistic genre, yet Victorian authors worked to recreate it for the modern world. Simon Dentith explores the relationship between epic and the evolution of Britain's national identity in the nineteenth century up to the apparent demise of all notions of heroic warfare in the catastrophe of the First World War. Paradoxically, writers found equivalents of the societies which produced Homeric or Northern epics not in Europe, but on the margins of empire and among its subject peoples. Dentith considers the implications of the status of epic for a range of nineteenth-century writers, including Walter Scott, Matthew Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Morris and Rudyard Kipling. He also considers the relationship between epic poetry and the novel and discusses late nineteenth-century adventure novels, concluding with a brief survey of epic in the twentieth century.
Title:Epic and Empire in Nineteenth-Century BritainFormat:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:November 19, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521123577

ISBN - 13:9780521123570


Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Homer, Ossian and modernity; 2. Walter Scott and heroic minstrelsy; 3. Epic translation and the national ballad metre; 4. The matter of Britain and the search for a national epic; 5. 'As flat as Fleet Street': Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold and George Eliot on epic and modernity; 6. Mapping epic and novel; 7. Epic and the imperial theme; 8. Kipling, Bard of Empire; 9. Epic and the subject peoples of Empire; 10. Coda: some Homeric futures; Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

"A thorough, insightful analysis of the collision between an ancient poetic genre and the modern British world." -- Choice