Abstract

Abstract:

This article discusses Robert Southey's five Botany-Bay Eclogues (written between 1794 and 1798). The speakers of the poems are convicted felons who have been transported to the British penal colony in Australia. I argue that Southey supports the controversial scheme of transportation, as he translates William Godwin's political ideas into poetry, using the barren Australian landscapes to create moral narratives of redemption. The poems are contextualize against the backdrop of eighteenth-century eclogue writing, Romantic poetry on punishment, and the popular Botany Bay broadside ballads.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 429-446
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-17
Open Access
No
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