In 1811 England was on the brink of economic collapse and revolution. The veteran poet and campaigner Anna Letitia Barbauld published a prophecy of the British nation reduced to ruins by its refusal to end the interminable war with France, titled Eighteen Hundred and Eleven. Combining ground-breaking historical research with incisive textual analysis, this new study dispels the myth surrounding the hostile reception of the poem and takes a striking episode in Romantic-era culture as the basis for exploring poetry as a medium of political protest. Clery examines the issues at stake, from the nature of patriotism to the threat to public credit, and throws new light on the views and activities of a wide range of writers, including radical, loyalist and dissenting journalists, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey, and Barbauld herself. Putting a woman writer at the centre of the enquiry opens up a revised perspective on the politics of Romanticism.
About the Author
E. J. Clery is professor of English Literature at the University of Southampton. Her publications include The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762–1800 (Cambridge, 1995), Women's Gothic from Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley (2000), The Feminization Debate in Eighteenth-Century England (2004) and Jane Austen: The Banker's Daughter (2017). In 2013 she was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Fellowship for the project 'Romantic-Era Women Writers and Economic Debate'. She lectures and broadcasts on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, book history and the cultural history of economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the puzzle and the myth; Part I. The Making of Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: 1. Economic warfare; 2. Writing for the enemy; 3. Commercial dissent; 4. Stoic patriotism; 5. The prophet motive; 6. Ruin: doing the policy in different voices; 7. Lady credit; Part II. What Happened Next: 8. Publication to vindication: a chronology; 9. The summer of 1812 and after; Conclusion.