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    Barkley, Danielle 2016. Crossing Borders: Geographic and Generic Expansiveness in Letitia Landon'sRomance and Reality. European Romantic Review, Vol. 27, Issue. 2, p. 175.

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

9 - The ‘warm south’

from Part II - Geographies: The Scenes of Literary Life
For Britons of the Romantic era, the 'warm south' was many things. It may be an imaginary elsewhere of lemon trees and olive groves; a place of refuge and exile; and a sensuous landscape of desire. This chapter plies between literal and literary geographies, taking both the material aspect of crossings between Britain and the Mediterranean and the myriad of crossings undertaken in the aesthetic realm. The Revolutionary-Napoleonic period left Britain's watery contours untouched, but it drastically redrew the island nation's imaginary geography. Don Juan sustains the Romantic regendering of the 'warm south': in lieu of a myth of Italian poet-fathers, one find an allegory of Britain embracing the south as a virile force. In the poems by Hemans, Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron, sympathy describes an ambit that the human object of sympathy, put differently, the human subject, is entirely obscured. During the Regency period, Histoires des Re' publiques Italiennes, the historiography of Italy itself becomes a work of resistance.
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