Poetic Castles in Spain

Poetic Castles in Spain

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British culture of the Romantic period is distinguished by a protracted and varied interest in things Spanish. The climax in the publication of fictional, and especially poetical, narratives on Spain corresponds with the intense phase of Anglo-Iberian exchanges delimited by the Peninsular War (1808-14), on the one hand, and the Spanish experiment of a constitutional monarchy that lasted from 1820 until 1823, on the other. Although current scholarship has uncovered and reconstructed several foreign maps of British Romanticism - from the Orient to the South Seas - exotic European geographies have not received much attention. Spain, in particular, is one of the most neglected of these 'imaginary' Romantic geographies, even if between the 1800s and the 1820s, and beyond, it was a site of wars and invasions, the object of foreign economic interests relating to its American colonies, and a geopolitical area crucial to the European balance designed by the post-Waterloo Vienna settlement. This study considers the various ways in which Spain figured in Romantic narrative verse, recovering the discursive materials employed in fictional representation, and assessing the relevance of this activity in the context of the dominant themes and preoccupations in contemporary British culture. The texts examined here include medievalizing and chivalric fictions, Orientalist adventures set in Islamic Granada, and modern-day tales of the anti-Napoleonic campaign in the Peninsula. Recovering some of the outstanding works and issues elaborated by British Romanticism through the cultural geography of Spain, this study shows that the Iberian country was an inexhaustible source of imaginative materials for British culture at a time when its imperial boundaries were expanding and its geopolitical influence was increasing in Europe and overseas.Accordingly, George Ellisa#39;s Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances (1805 ) and Scotta#39;s a#39;Essay on Romancea#39; (1823) ... Roughly at the same time, British antiquarians started to collect, translate and publish medieval Spanish ballads, anbsp;...

Title:Poetic Castles in Spain
Author:Diego Saglia
Publisher:Rodopi - 2000


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