Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict, 1793–1822, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Romantic Wars

Studies in Culture and Conflict, 1793–1822, 1st Edition

Edited by Philip Shaw


246 pages

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Hardback: 9781840142662
pub: 2000-12-29
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Romantic Wars is a collection of eight specially commissioned essays focusing on the relations between British Romantic culture (poetry, fiction, painting, and non-fictional prose) and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Whilst in recent years much attention has been paid to the influence of the French Revolution on British Romanticism, comparatively little has been written about the effects of war. This book takes, as its central thesis, the idea that Romanticism is facilitated and conditioned by a culture of hostility. Whether this is manifested in Blakean visions of 'mental warfare', or in socio-historical reflections on the links between conflict and nationhood, the essays in this volume seek to correct a prevailing assumption that the culture of this period is unaffected by discourses of violence. Through a combination of individual case studies - detailed readings of warfare in Coleridge, Byron, Charlotte Smith and Austen - and wider-ranging survey discussions, including essays on the representation of the British sailor and war poetry by women, the book provides a timely reflection on the texts and contexts of the first 'Great War'. The book is aimed at literary specialists and historians working in the areas of Romanticism and European history. It will also appeal to general readers with an interest in early nineteenth-century writing and British culture.


'This is an excellent book, which will take its place as a critical touchstone for scholars investigating its broad subject… This volume demonstrates clearly and emphatically the multiple benefits of the academic symposium: it is well-conceived, intellectually of a piece though by no means uniform, and it gathers together a wealth of expertise.' Literature & History '… these essays offer a satisfyingly open-ended view of the internalised and textualised battles which superseded the literal battlefield of Waterloo, and all complicate productively the reader's impression of the writers and their politics.' BARS Bulletin

Table of Contents

Contents; Introduction, Philip Shaw; ’A few harmless Numbers’: British women poets and the climate of war, 1793-1815, Stephen C. Behrendt; The exiled self: images of war in Charlotte Smith’s ’The emigrants’, Jacqueline M. Labbe; The harsh delights of political duty: Thelwall, Coleridge, Wordsworth, 1795-99, David Collings; Duty and mutiny: the aesthetics of loyalty and the representation of the British sailor c. 1798-1800, Geoff Quilley; Invasion! Coleridge, the defence of Britain and the cultivation of the public’s fear, Mark Rawlinson; War romances, historical analogies and Coleridge’s Letter’s on the Spaniards, Diego Saglia; ’Of war and taking towns’: Byron’s siege poems, Simon Bainbridge; Leigh Hunt and the aesthetics of post-war liberalism, Philip Shaw; Marriage at the end of war, Eric C. Walker; Index.

About the Editor

Philip Shaw is Lecturer in English at the University of Leicester.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature