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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: May 2009

11 - Romanticism and the wider world: poetry, travel literature and empire

from Part II - Geographies: The Scenes of Literary Life
This chapter examines travel writers and Romantic poets colluded in building the moral agenda of Britain's second empire, as well as scrutinizing the generic links between travel writing and imaginative literature. Charles Batten's claim that by the end of the eighteenth century travel books were the most widely read division of literature, second only to novels and romances, seems credible. Relations between imperial ideology, the literature of travel, and emergent notions of literary value, were more problematic than is assumed by some post-colonial critics. The chapter focuses on the travel writing in the epistemology of the eighteenth century, particularly in the intellectual crucible of the Scottish Enlightenment, keeping an eye on its subsequent epistemological demotion. One of the most powerful mediators of Scottish stadial thought in the Romantic period was the Edinburgh Whig critic Francis Jeffrey. Wordsworth challenges both his travelogue source and the conventions of the poetic sub-genre to which his poem belongs.
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The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055970
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Massimiliano Demata , ‘Travel Literature in the Edinburgh Review’, in British Romanticism and the Edinburgh Review: Bicentenary Essays, ed. Massimiliano Demata and Duncan Wu , Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Nigel Leask ,‘Kubla Khan and Orientalism: The Road to Xanadu Revisited’, Romanticism 4:1 (1998).

Mark Phillips , Society and Sentiment: Genres of Historical Writing in Britain, 1740–1820, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

MaryLouise Pratt , Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London: Routledge, 1992.

Roxann Wheeler , The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.