The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725-1742

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What did it mean to be a "Patriot" during the Walpole administration? This is the first full-length study of the so-called Patriot opposition to Walpole which reached its height during the clamor for war against Spain at the turn of the 1730s. Christine Gerrard examines the interrelationship between patriotism, politics, and poetry in the period 1724-1742, looking at the poetry and drama of such authors as James Thomson, Alexander Pope, and the young Samuel Johnson, who were all drawn to the heady idealism of the young Boy Patriots. Other authors discussed include Bolingbroke, Lyttleton, West, Mallet, and Hill, and Gerrard looks, too, at the literature, prints, architecture, and statuary of the 1730s.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A significant contribution to the growing corpus of scholarship on the genesis of British nationalism in the 18th century."—Times Higher Education Supplement

"This spirited study is a much needed complement to Mack, Goldgar, and others on anti-Walpolian satire and to recent work on Jacobite rhetoric....Like the best new historical literary scholarship, the book not only recontextualizes well-known writers..,but considers afresh many neglected figures. Gerrard has done her homework in archival reading very convincingly."—Choice

"Thanks to Christine Gerrard, we now have an angle of vision into the imaginative world of the Whigs who opposed Walpole."—Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198129820
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Pt. I Politicians, Poets, and the Prince
1 Patriots and Patriotism 3
2 Whigs in Opposition 19
3 Cultural Patriotism: Frederick and the Arts 46
4 Pope, Politics, and Genre 68
Pt. II Mythologizing History
5 Patriot Gothic 108
6 Political Elizabethanism and the Spenser Revival 150
7 Mythologizing the Monarch: Ideas of a Patriot King 185
8 Jacobites and Patriots: Johnson and Savage 230
Bibliography 248
Index 261
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