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EpicBritain's Heroic Muse 1790–1910$
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Herbert F. Tucker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232987.001.0001

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Under Correction: Epic Conscripted 1800–1805

Under Correction: Epic Conscripted 1800–1805

(p.93) 3 Under Correction: Epic Conscripted 1800–1805

Herbert F. Tucker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the correction that was imposed around 1800 on the 1790s epic explosion by British national mobilization for war and suppression of dissent. A host of orthodox martial epics were mustered up by ambitious patriots to celebrate recent victories or nourish nationalism on, say, the royal careers of Saxon Alfred and Richard the crusader. More thoughtful poets employed the genre for complex accounts of chastened ambition valorizing the backward look and the second chance. Narrated in a reparative spirit that both sprang from the previous decade's revolutionary engineering and amended it, a striking constellation of major poetic ventures were completed around 1805 by Tighe, Southey, Blake, Wordsworth, and Scott, for which personal and political revisionism, and their mutual relation, form common themes.

Keywords:   war, nationalism, King Alfred, revisionism, Tighe, Southey, Blake, Wordsworth, Scott

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