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The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination$
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Carl Thompson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259984.001.0001

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Misadventurers II: Political Themes

Misadventurers II: Political Themes

(p.107) 3 Misadventurers II: Political Themes
The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination

Carl Thompson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores the political resonance of the figure of the maritime misadventurer, and by extension the political symbolism that could attach to the Romantic espousal of misadventure in travel and travel writing. The voyage and shipwreck literature introduced in Chapter 2 did not just bring into focus important existential questions in the Romantic era; it also returned repeatedly to issues of authority, insubordination, and mutiny which were especially resonant in the era of the French Revolution. The first section of the chapter explores these themes directly, whilst the second considers how they are reflected in the maritime imagery of two early works by Wordsworth: Salisbury Plain and The Borderers. The final section explores instances in which an identification with the sufferings of sailors led to a politically-motivated espousal of misadventure on the part of Romantic travellers (focusing on the Romantic practice of pedestrianism).

Keywords:   travel, travel writing, adventure, shipwreck, Wordsworth, pedestrianism, mutiny

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