By Iain McCalman, Jon Mee, Gillian Russell, Clara Tuite, Kate Fullagar, Patsy Hardy

For the 1st time, this leading edge reference booklet surveys the Romantic Age via all features of British tradition, instead of in literary or inventive 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 sleek democratic and industrialized society.

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Napoleon’s rise to power and subsequent career fitted very easily into this analysis. As late as 1815 the *Whig opposition in parliament demurred against attacking the restored Napoleon on the grounds that the ease with which he had overthrown the Bourbon monarchy indicated the public strength of his regime. There was some understanding here of the intensity war would assume once whole societies were engaged. Yet whatever Britain’s experience of mass mobilization and popular *patriotism during the wars between 1793 and 1815, anti-war opinion in the early nineteenth 2 · War 29 century never offered an interpretation of the age as one of increasing militarism or xenophobia.

To celebrate events in France was, for Burke, to celebrate civil war and mob violence. To advance the claims of *natural 2. Detail of The Riot in Broad Street, 7 June 1780, engraving by J. Heath after Francis Wheatley (1790), depicting the mob pillage of the Gordon riots and intimating their eventual repression. 1 · Revolution 19 rights and liberty against the order of society, and to see the right of reform as inherent in the sovereignty of the people, was to threaten the fundamental laws of nature.

In 1797 there were *naval mutinies in Nore and Spithead, allegedly fuelled by London Corresponding Society literature, and there was an agreed policy of subversion of the army among some cells of the United Englishmen—the English counterpart to the United Irishmen. There was a brief French landing in Wales in February 1797 and an abortive rebellion in Ireland, with a mistimed French landing in Ireland in 1798. Faced with these strains, the government took more draconian measures against the radical organizations.

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