Abstract

Abstract:

William Wordsworth's sonnets of 1802-3 offer an unusually rich insight into the poet's heightened political commitments during the short-lived Peace of Amiens and the subsequent resumption of hostilities with Napoleonic France. The sonnets were inspired by Miltonic example, and several of the poems respond to their contemporary political and diplomatic contexts by tracing the spirit of British freedom back to the constitutional upheavals of the mid-seventeenth-century. The present article examines a selection of Wordsworth's sonnets from this period, and relates their historical preoccupations to the contentious status of Britain's revolutionary past in the years after 1789. It thereby seeks to cast fresh light on the nature and extent of Wordsworth's vestigial radicalism, his incipient Burkean sympathies, and his creative relationship with republican literary tradition.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 747-774
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-03
Open Access
No
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