Robert Southey, politics and the year 1817

Packer, Ian (2018) Robert Southey, politics and the year 1817. Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, 68 . ISSN 1916-1441

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Robert Southey, Politics and the Year 1817
This article examines Robert Southey’s interactions with both politics and politicians in the year 1817. The publication of the sections of the Collected Letters of Robert Southey covering the period 1815-21 makes possible a much closer and more nuanced examination of how Southey responded to the controversy over the unauthorised appearance of his early radical play, Wat Tyler, and his subsequent condemnation in the House of Commons as a “renegado”. The Collected Letters make clear that Southey’s reaction to these events became entangled with his determination to gather support for his distinctive political programme, which he believed would save the country from revolution. However, Southey’s interventions in the fraught political and cultural debates of 1817 only served to cement his reputation as a particularly reactionary conservative.
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Abstract

This article examines Robert Southey’s interactions with both politics and politicians in the year 1817. The publication of the sections of the Collected Letters of Robert Southey covering the period 1815-21 makes possible a much closer and more nuanced examination of how Southey responded to the controversy over the unauthorised appearance of his early radical play, Wat Tyler, and his subsequent condemnation in the House of Commons as a “renegado”. The Collected Letters make clear that Southey’s reaction to these events became entangled with his determination to gather support for his distinctive political programme, which he believed would save the country from revolution. However, Southey’s interventions in the fraught political and cultural debates of 1817 only served to cement his reputation as a particularly reactionary conservative.

Keywords:Robert Southey, Wat Tyler
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:31487
Deposited On:04 Apr 2018 13:58

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