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After Wordsworth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2023

Philip Shaw
Affiliation:
University of Leicester
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Summary

The conclusion to this book offers a perspective on Wordsworth’s cultural afterlife, finding in the postscript to Leigh Hunt’s pacificist polemic, Captain Sword and Captain Pen (1835; revised 1849), and Thomas De Quincey’s pro-Crimean essay, ‘On War’ (1848; revised 1854), the resources for a reading of the politics and poetics of late Romanticism that responds to the contradiction in Wordsworth’s poetry revealed in these polarised works: the clash between the hope for perpetual peace and the grim satisfaction of eternal war. Whereas De Quincey, citing the ‘Thanksgiving Ode’, remains obdurate in his support for the ‘dreadful doctrine’ that war is ‘amongst the evils that are salutary to man’, Hunt joins with those later generations of readers who, experiencing war at first hand, found solace in poems celebrating the life of rivers, mountains, and flowers. Though Wordsworth’s poems do not flinch from violent imaginings, for such readers it yet remains possible that peace will come.

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Wordsworth After War
Recovering Peace in the Later Poetry
, pp. 209 - 220
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • After Wordsworth
  • Philip Shaw, University of Leicester
  • Book: Wordsworth After War
  • Online publication: 06 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009363150.008
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  • After Wordsworth
  • Philip Shaw, University of Leicester
  • Book: Wordsworth After War
  • Online publication: 06 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009363150.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • After Wordsworth
  • Philip Shaw, University of Leicester
  • Book: Wordsworth After War
  • Online publication: 06 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009363150.008
Available formats
×