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Poetry & MoneyA Speculation$
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Peter Robinson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622539

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622539.001.0001

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Poetic forms containing rampant money

Poetic forms containing rampant money

(p.95) Chapter Five Poetic forms containing rampant money
Poetry & Money

Peter Robinson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter begins with the South Sea Bubble and the Financial Revolution by bringing to light an anonymous Jacobite Pindaric ode written in response to the consequences of this emblematic boom and bust. Other poems or passages on the Bubble by Anne Finch, Gay, Swift and Pope are drawn upon in an exploration of how poetic form may attempt to manage and counteract the rise of stocks and shares, notes of exchange and paper currency. The repeatedly evoked contrast between metallic coin, especially gold, and these fiduciary symbols of value is identified in such poems as Pope’s ‘Of the Use of Riches’ and then followed into the Romantic period in poems by Keats, Shelley and Byron. This distinction is found to influence Shelley’s ‘Defence of Poetry’ through the association between precious metals and poetic value in the essay by Thomas Love Peacock to which it responds.

Keywords:   South Sea Bubble, speculation, gold, paper currency, Byron, Gay, Keats, Pope, Shelley, Swift

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