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Talking RevolutionEdward Rushton's Rebellious Poetics, 1782-1814$
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Franca Dellarosa

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381441

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381441.001.0001

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Writing Against Empires

Writing Against Empires

(p.99) 4 Writing Against Empires
Talking Revolution

Franca Dellarosa

Liverpool University Press

This chapter investigates Edward Rushton’s responsiveness to the tumultuous global dynamics underlying the ongoing alterations of assumed world order, which emerge in his writing with multifaceted prominence. Central to the analysis is Rushton’s consistent rejection of war, which finds a most radical expression in ‘Lines Addressed to Robert Southey’, one of his latest poems and a fierce critique of the newly appointed Poet Laureate’s first piece. The chapter investigates in detail the connection between Rushton and Southey, who met in 1808 and shared a passing connection and affinity; this would not prevent the former from shaping his unbending abhorrence of conflict into a powerful metapoetic verse response to the expansive rhetoric of Southey’s Carmen Triumphale for the Commencement of the Year 1814. Rushton’s poem is discussed against the background of the controversial reception of Southey’s piece. In a sort of implicit symmetry with the desolate picture of the European theatre of war, the poem ‘The Coromantees’ is examined as evidence of Rushton’s acute sensitivity to lacerating global issues, where the Caribbean seascape offers, this time, the Atlantic theatre for a new exercise in violence, brutal power and deceit, thus entering the meticulous construction of his global critique of imperialism.

Keywords:   Edward Rushton, rejection of war, Robert Southey, poet laureate, The Coromantees, imperialism

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