An Oxford Companion to The Romantic Age: British Culture by Iain McCalman, Jon Mee, Gillian Russell, Clara Tuite, Kate

By Iain McCalman, Jon Mee, Gillian Russell, Clara Tuite, Kate Fullagar, Patsy Hardy

For the 1st time, this leading edge reference e-book surveys the Romantic Age via all points of British tradition, instead of in literary or creative phrases by myself. This multi-disciplinary strategy treats Romanticism either in aesthetic terms--its which means for portray, tune, layout, structure, and literature--and as a old epoch of "revolutionary" adjustments which ushered in glossy democratic and industrialized society.

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The French case peppers the works of Marx and Lenin and underlies their understanding of the revolutionary process. But there is a distinctive story to be told of the way that the events of the 1790s translated the *French Revolution into a dual challenge to the authority of the British state—from domestic reformers on the one hand, and from the strains of fighting arguably the most extensive and demanding *war [2] in British history (the loss of life among servicemen was proportionately higher than in the First World War).

Local magistrates also found evidence of potential insurgence in handbills and verses, Dissenting *sermons and casual conversations, strikes, riots, murmurings in the army, and finally in rumours of the wholesale production of arms. To add to government concern, Scotland greeted each new French victory in its war with the counter-revolutionary coalition with toasts, bells, and lighted windows; Henry *Dundas (Lord Melville), the home secretary, was regularly burnt in effigy, there was a spate of violent rioting towards the end of the year, and in December a general convention of reformers was held in Edinburgh.

The government needed to know that it could rely on the people, to finance it and to fight for it, and on neither count could the people be bullied into compliance on a mass scale. They needed to be carried along from conviction—especially once the government had agreed to the creation of an armed volunteer force. There has been considerable controversy over the question whether Britain came close to a revolution in the 1790s. The account given here suggests that this is not necessarily the most apt question.

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