Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire: English Verse in the Long Eighteenth Century


This product is not available in the selected currency.


This text argues that the aggressive nationalism of James Thomson's ode ""Rule, Britannia!"" (1740) is the condition to which much English poetry of the late 17th and 18th centuries aspires. Poets as varied a Marvell, Waller and Dryden, Defoe, Addison, John Dyer and Edward Young, to Goldsmith, Cowper, Hannah More and Anna Laetitia Barbauld, all wrote poems deeply engaged with the British-nation-in-the-making. These poets, and many others like them, recognized that the nation and its values and institutions were being defined by the expansion of overseas trade, naval and military control, plantations and colonies. Their poems both embodied and were concerned about the culture and ideology of ""Great Britain"" (itself an idea of the nation that developed alongside the formation of a British Empire). Poems in this period thus flaunt various images of poetic inspiration that show poetry and culture following triumphantly where mercantile and military ships sail. Or sometimes, more self-aggrandizingly for the poet, they enact the process by which the Muses use their powers to inspire and show the way. Even at their most hesitant, these poems were written as interventions into public discussion; their creativity is tied up with that desire to convince and persuade. Finally, as Kaul writes, it is their encyclopaedic desire to incorporate new experiences, visions and values that make these poems such fine guides to the world of poetry in the long years in which ""Great Britain"" was consolidated as an empire, at home and abroad.

Detalls del producte

University of Virginia Press
Data de publicaci贸

Obtingues ingressos recomanant llibres

Genera ingressos compartint enlla莽os dels teus llibres favorits a trav茅s del programa d鈥檃filiats.

Uneix-te al programa d鈥檃filiats