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Literature, gender and politics in Britain during the war for America, 1770-1785

Literature, gender and politics in Britain during the war for America, 1770-1785 / Robert W. Jones.
9781107007895 (hardback)
1107007895 (hardback)
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Physical Description
xi, 267 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
"The successful performance of a particular kind of masculinity was critical to political life during the eighteenth century, when men who claimed membership of the public sphere were expected to be men of honour as well as property. By the 1770s, however, the transformative effects of commerce and the claims of politeness complicated older certainties. Robert Jones examines how the parliamentary Opposition and their literary allies responded to political pressures and the emergencies of a disastrous war by fashioning a new mode of politics based on a more flexible range of masculinities. Basing his study on close readings of Edmund Burke and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the trials of General Burgoyne and Admiral Keppel, and the Whig appropriation of Thomas Chatterton, Jones explores how Opposition discourse risked the charge of effeminacy in order to fuse the languages of honour and sensibility"-- Provided by publisher.
"The years of the American crisis and its escalation into the War of American Independence are a period of uncertain, even eccentric developments. As Britain argued with her once loyal subjects the nation appeared mired in luxury, its economy bloated by the rampant successes of the Seven Years' War. Her merchants had grown wealthy, but her people, especially the elite, seemed enfeebled by idle pleasures. Fops and Macaroni pranced on the streets, sipped coffee and dressed appallingly. They did not seem to be the men to fight a war. Worrying comparisons with Roman luxury and decline soon became the common currency of debate. The struggle for the colonies would indeed prove disastrous, huge and embarrassing defeats, at Saratoga in 1777 and later at Yorktown, lead to the loss of some of Britain's most valuable possessions"-- Provided by publisher.
Added to Catalog
February 02, 2012
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. The character of opposition; 2. Edmund Burke and the law of empire; 3. The wounding of John Burgoyne; 4. Admiral Keppel and the honour of the nation; 5. Richard Brinsley Sheridan and the theatre of patriotism; 6. The victorious defeat of Thomas Chatterton; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.

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