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British Poetry and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic WarsVisions of Conflict$
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Simon Bainbridge

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198187585

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187585.001.0001

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‘Men are We’: Poetry, War, and Gender in Wordsworth’s Political Sonnets, 1802–1803

‘Men are We’: Poetry, War, and Gender in Wordsworth’s Political Sonnets, 1802–1803

Chapter:
(p.99) CHAPTER FOUR ‘Men are We’: Poetry, War, and Gender in Wordsworth’s Political Sonnets, 1802–1803
Source:
British Poetry and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Author(s):

Simon Bainbridge (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187585.003.0004

This chapter discusses poetry, war, and gender in Wordsworth's political sonnets. Wordsworth's political sonnets of 1802-1803 were part of the huge outpouring of verse produced to unite, inspire, and animate the nation during the invasion scares if 1797-1798 and 1802-1805, the period that has been named ‘the Great Terror.’ This vast body of verse played an important role in the wartime forging of the British nation, both mediating the war to the British public and providing a means of patriotic expression. If poetry shaped understandings of the war in these years, the war in turn shaped poetry, limiting the kinds of writing that could be produced in such an atmosphere of national crisis. The chapter also details one example of poetic construction of the manly nation and its links to the remasculinisation of poetry, Wordworth's political sonnets.

Keywords:   poetry, war, gender, Wordsworth, political sonnets, Great Terror, patriotic expression

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