1st Edition

Byronism, Napoleonism, and Nineteenth-Century Realism Heroes of Their Own Lives?

By Tristan Donal Burke Copyright 2022
    214 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Byronism, Napoleonism and Nineteenth-Century Realism offers a fresh analysis of the nineteenth-century European novel, exploring the cultural images of Byron and Napoleon as they appear in the construction of ‘bourgeois heroism.’ Utilising a unique pan-European perspective, this volume draws together concepts of heroism with theoretically informed questions of form, particularly the role of the hero-protagonist and development of literary realism. Observing Byron and Napoleon as parallel entities, whose rise and twin fame cast long shadows in the first decades of the nineteenth century, this text exemplifies the force of personality which made them heroes. Even where they were reviled, their commitment to challenging moribund cultural and social values make them touchstones for all those who attempted to understand the nineteenth century’s modernity. Integrating the study of heroism in the nineteenth-century novel with key developments in critical theory, Byronism, Napoleonism and Nineteenth-Century Realism is essential reading for students and scholars of the bourgeois hero, as well as those with a wider interest in nineteenth-century literature.


    Chapter One: Byronism, Revolution and the Birth of Bourgeois Individualism: Heroism in Pushkin and Lermontov

    Chapter Two: David Copperfield: Byronic heroism and bourgeois privacy

    Chapter Three: ‘I can pick the right uniform for my century’: Napoleonic heroism and regimes of representation in Stendhal’s The Red and the Black

    Chapter Four: Napoleon at Vanity Fair: Costumes of Exiled Heroism




    Tristan Donal Burke studied at the University of Manchester, and his thesis, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the University of Manchester’s President’s Doctoral Scholarship, was entitled 'Mutations of Heroism in Nineteenth-Century Modernity.' He is currently Teaching Fellow in Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds. He recently published on Dickens’s Bleak House and political violence in The London Journal, and his work with the Everyday Analysis Collective is published by Zer0 Books.