British Romanticism and Spanish America, 1777-1825: Rewriting Conquest

British Romanticism and Spanish America, 1777-1825: Rewriting Conquest

by Rebecca Cole Heinowitz

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Overview

British Romanticism and Spanish America, 1777-1825: Rewriting Conquest by Rebecca Cole Heinowitz

Spanish America and British Romanticism, 1777-1826: Rewriting Conquest expands current scholarship about late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British literature to include the significant, but previously unexamined, impact of Spanish America on the Romantic literary and political imagination.

Through critical reconsiderations of both canonical and lesser-known Romantic texts, including Helen Maria Williams's Peru, Robert Southey's Madoc, Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro, and Lord Byron's The Age of Bronze, Heinowitz reveals the untold story of Romantic-era Britain's obsession with Spanish America.

Although historians have traditionally characterized Britain's relationship with Spanish America as commercial rather than colonial, this study explores the striking rhetorical overlap between formal and informal strategies of rule. In the absence of a coherent imperial policy regarding Spain's colonies, Britain struggled to justify its actions by means of the problematic assertion that British primacy was authorized by political, cultural, ethical, and even historical identification with the peoples of Spanish America. By examining the ways in which this discourse of British-Spanish American similitude was deployed and increasingly strained throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Heinowitz demonstrates how British writing about Spanish America redefines the anxieties, ambivalences, and contradictions that characterize Romantic imperialism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748638680
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 04/09/2010
Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Transatlantic Literature Series
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rebecca Cole Heinowitz is Assistant Professor of Literature at the Bard College

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

Acknowledgements viii

Introduction: 'An Empire in Men's Hearts:' The Liberal Conquest of Spanish America 1

1 Naturalizing Empire: Helen Maria Williams's Peru and the British Ascendancy in Spanish America 34

2 Creole Patriotism and the Discourse of Revolutionary Loyalism, 1792-9 70

3 The Allure of the Same: Robert Southey's Welsh Indians and the Rhetoric of Good Colonialism 93

4 'Thy World, Columbus, shall be free:' Visions of Spanish America during the Peninsular War 132

5 Lord Byron's 'South American Project:' Aristocratic Radicalism and the Question of Venezuelan Settlement 158

6 The Spanish American Bubble and Britain's Crisis of Informal Empire, 1822-6 183

Bibliography 218

Index 237

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