Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Transatlantic Literature)

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9780748636440: Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Transatlantic Literature)
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In Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830, Erik Simpson proposes the mercenary as a meeting point of psychological, national, and ideological issues that connected the severed nations of Britain and America following the American Revolution.When writers treat the figure of the mercenary in literary works, the general issues of incentive, independence, and national service become intertwined with two of the well-known social developments of the period: an increased ability of young people to choose their spouses and the shift from patronage to commercial, market-based support of authorship. While the slave, a traditional focus of transatlantic studies, troubles the rhetoric of liberty through a lack of autonomy and consent, the mercenary raises questions about liberty by embodying its excess. Simpson argues that the mercenary of popular imagination takes monstrous advantage of modern freedoms by contracting away the ostensibly natural and foundational bonds of civil society.Substan

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Erik Simpson is Associate Professor of English at the Grinnell College

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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The presence in Romantic-era literature of the mercenary is historically important, but often neglected. This book proposes the mercenary as a focal point for transatlantic analysis in both American and European contexts. The mercenary of popular imagination disregards patriotic feeling in contracting to serve whatever commander will pay well. Like the slave, the mercenary ends up obeying a master with no claim of national, religious, or familial affiliation. The mercenary's choice to serve an alien master (often by crossing the Atlantic) thus stands at once for the overindulgence of freedom and the failure to appreciate its value. Substantial primary research underpins an argument with suggestive metaphorical and symbolic implications traced through a range of writing by Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Byron and Charlotte Smith. Seller Inventory # BTE9780748636440

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