Napoleon and English Romanticism

Overview

Napoleon Bonaparte occupied a central place in the consciousness of many British writers of the Romantic period. He was a profound shaping influence on their thinking and writing, and a powerful symbolic and mythic figure whom they used to legitimize and discredit a wide range of political and aesthetic positions. In this first ever full-length study of Romantic writers' obsession with Napoleon, Simon Bainbridge focuses on the writings of the Lake poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, and of Byron and Hazlitt....
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Overview

Napoleon Bonaparte occupied a central place in the consciousness of many British writers of the Romantic period. He was a profound shaping influence on their thinking and writing, and a powerful symbolic and mythic figure whom they used to legitimize and discredit a wide range of political and aesthetic positions. In this first ever full-length study of Romantic writers' obsession with Napoleon, Simon Bainbridge focuses on the writings of the Lake poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, and of Byron and Hazlitt. Combining detailed analyses of specific texts with broader historical and theoretical approaches, and illustrating his argument with the visual evidence of contemporary cartoons, Bainbridge shows how Romantic writers constructed, appropriated and contested different Napoleons as a crucial part of their sustained and partisan engagement in the political and cultural debates of the day.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The book's bold simplicity of focus is balanced by its interest in the complexities of representation, and the result is a study that sheds new light on neglected images and a refocused light on some prominent icons of the Romantic canon. Robert Lapp in European Romantic Review 9:1(Winter 1998)

"...this book will keep its place on a convenient shelf for all intellectually curious students of English romantic poetry." Carl Woodring, Studies in Romanticism

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521024129
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/23/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism Series , #14
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Introduction: the poets and the conqueror 1
1 A 'conqueror of kings' and 'a deliverer of men': the revolutionary figure of Napoleon in the writing of Coleridge, Southey and Landor 17
2 'In such strength of usurpation': Wordsworth's Napoleonic imagination 54
3 'Historiographer[s] to the King of Hell': The Lake poets' Peninsular campaign 95
4 Staging history: Byron and Napoleon, 1813-1814 134
5 Waterloo: 'The greatest event of modern times' 153
6 'A proud and full answer': Hazlitt's Napoleonic riposte 183
Conclusion: The Age of Bronze 208
Notes 211
Bibliography 238
Index 253
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