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This 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. The 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 collection offers a reflection on the texts and contexts of the first "Great War".
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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 Author

Philip Shaw, University of Leicester, UK Philip Shaw, Stephen C. Behrendt, Jacqueline M. Labbe, David Collings, Geoff Quilley, Mark Rawlinson, Diego Saglia, Eric C. Walker.


'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

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