Get Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain PDF

By Clare A. Simmons

ISBN-10: 023010374X

ISBN-13: 9780230103740

Renowned Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain examines ways that British writers and readers used the belief of the center a long time to problem modern political constructions and to assert ancient nationwide rights at a time whilst fears that Britain may stick to the instance of the French Revolution triggered the British executive to undermine person and collective rights. throughout the attention of canonical authors resembling Blake, Scott, and Wordsworth and of lesser-studied works reminiscent of radical press writings and renowned drama, this examine means that the creative entice the social buildings and literary sorts of the center a long time served as a robust technique of elevating information of Britain’s previous and the culture of freedom.

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Extra info for Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain (Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters)

Example text

Discussions of the Druids provide a number of clues as to how English writers of the later eighteenth century thought about Godgiven, natural, and historical law. Neo-Druids of the present day often practice civil disobedience, claiming that their freedom of worship and access to traditionally common land (notably at sites such as Stonehenge) is restricted; they also participate in environmental issues. They are thus claiming to respond to a different law, namely that of the Nature-Goddess, and as Ronald Hutton has pointed out, at least one of these groups, led by Arthur Uther Pendragon, sees medievalism and druidry as one and the same, a recreation (or rebirth) of earlier British experience.

In this primeval state, man “contained in his mighty limbs all things in heaven & earth”: there was no separation of knowledge between the creator and the elements of creation, and hence, as in Stukeley’s version, no need for law.

17 The standard breakdown is that the Druids performed the priestly and legislative functions; the bards preserved history and genealogy; and the seers predicted the future through interpreting natural signs such as the behavior of birds or their sacrificial victims. A blurring of the categories is seen in poems such as Gray’s “The Bard,” where the last of the Welsh bards claims a prophetic function. Iolo thus created three orders of Druids (priests), Bards (artists), and Ovates (the learned), but in literature the distinction is less clear.

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Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain (Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters) by Clare A. Simmons


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