This book argues that poetry played a major role in the mediation of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars to the British public, and that the wars had a significant impact on poetic practices and theories in the Romantic period.
It examines a wide range of writers, both canonical (Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron) and non-canonical (Smith, Southey, Scott, and Hemans), and locates their work within the huge amount of war poetry published in newspapers and magazines.
It shows that poetry was a crucial form through which what were seen as the first modern or 'total' wars were imagined in Britain and that it was central to the cultural and political debates over the conflict with France.
While the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars compelled poets to re-examine their roles, it was poetry itself which produced a major transformation of the imagining of war that would be influential throughout the nineteenth century.
1DBK United Kingdom, Great Britain, 2AB English, 3JF c 1700 to c 1800, 3JH c 1800 to c 1900, DSBF Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900 , DSC Literary studies: poetry & poets, HBJD European history, HBLL Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900