By Oskar Cox Jensen
This learn deals an intensive reassessment of an important interval of political and cultural heritage. through a few four hundred songs, a lot of that are made on hand to listen to, and at their writers, singers, and audiences, it questions either our dating with track, and usual Britons' courting with Napoleon, the battle, and the belief of england itself.
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Additional resources for Napoleon and British Song, 1797–1822 (War, Culture and Society, 1750–1850)
10 Their use of Napoleon reﬂects this, for far from being idealised as an enlightened, atheist liberator, he was incorporated by popular writers into a far older tradition. ’11 In popular sentiment, he was simply the latest incarnation of the saviour across the water. In this conservative, legend-making cultural context, Napoleon’s literal absence is as much a recommendation as a problem: his lack of agency in the Irish narrative aids his assimilation into an ongoing body of song. 12 The Battle of the Nile If the price of Napoleon’s entry into Irish-language song was his subordination to a Jacobite tradition, then the price for his entry into English-language song was as a foil to the hero of the hour, Horatio Nelson.
89 Plays featured ‘Mr. 93 Blindness was a (minor) factor in only two of these allusions: the postwar Homeric allegory was rooted in a grander narrative. ’94 ‘The times’ is the key: the ballad singer was to Homer as the Napoleonic Wars were to the siege of Troy. In classicising the ballad singer, patriots were ﬂeshing out a new national legend. For a classically educated elite, there was no comparison other than Homer’s poem worthy of Britain’s own epic. 97 Pierce Egan’s 1821 Life in London parodies this Grecian self-fashioning.
Marshall, at Newcastle, frequently themed his shorter chapbooks in this fashion. One ﬁve-song collection contained ‘The Battle of Waterloo. The death of Nelson. Death of Abercrombie. The wounded hussar. 77 Few purchasers can have felt especially bellicose after that particular repertoire. ’78 For Napoleonic song, the chief mediator was the ballad singer, who exercised a great deal of control over the distribution, performance, and presentation of songs. All members of society sang. Yet most people sang in acts of literal recreation.