By Iain McCalman, Jon Mee, Gillian Russell, Clara Tuite, Kate Fullagar, Patsy Hardy
For the 1st time, this cutting 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 method treats Romanticism either in aesthetic terms--its that means for portray, tune, layout, structure, and literature--and as a historic epoch of "revolutionary" differences which ushered in smooth democratic and industrialized society.
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Extra info for An Oxford Companion to The Romantic Age: British Culture 1776-1832
Even during the war itself the patriotic crowd did not completely displace its protesting counterpart. One example is the ‘loyalist reaction’ to popular radicalism in 1792–3 in which the lower orders were bombarded with propaganda and encouraged to make anti-radical demonstrations, only to be followed in 1795 by widespread ‘hunger disorders’ and renewed radical activity [see *famine and *loyalism]. The prominence of the militia in the protests of 1795 ought also to be a reminder that militarization and loyalty did not necessarily go hand in hand.
By the height of the *invasion scare in 1803 the mass dissemination of loyalist ballads and broadsides had become an unquestioned part of government strategy. 3. Detail from Contrasted Opinions of Paine’s Pamphlet (1791), attributed to F. G. Byron, an amateur painter and distant cousin of the poet. The ﬁgures of Burke on the left and Fox on the right reﬂect the ‘infernal nature’ of the debate over Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man which swept through the country in the 1790s. One effect, then, of the revolution controversy and the war with France was the further extension, well beyond the radical movements generated by opposition to the American war, of a popular political culture conversant with a national political agenda.
Paine’s Rights of Man, on the most conservative estimate, probably sold between 100,000 and 200,000 copies in the ﬁrst three years after its publication, and with the procedures available to ensure multiple readerships and the ‘bridging mechanisms’ which brought the text even to illiterate and semi-literate people, it seems likely that a substantial proportion of all classes would have had some acquaintance with Paine. In addition, the ephemera of the debate—the *street literature, the *ballads, the chalked grafﬁti, the parodies and caricatures—kept these issues in the public domain, maintained their salience, and sustained, both for the reformers and for the common people who looked on, a frisson of delight from their satirical subversion of a discomﬁted élite.