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Romantic-Era Shipwreck Narratives (2007) by Carl Thompson eBook




The shipwreck narrative was a popular and prolific, if now largely forgotten, branch of Romantic-era print culture. Yet there are many fascinating and deeply moving accounts to be found in this voluminous literature. Just as importantly, the genre also offers a wealth of insights into a broad range of current academic debates. For a nation like Britain where military and economic power and even cultural identity were predicated on maritime prowess, shipwrecks were profoundly troubling events.


Detailed Description

It was no accident or quirk of literary taste that shipwreck narratives were so popular in the Romantic period: they were compelling reading because in diverse ways they touched on some of the most important issues of the day. In shipwreck narratives a maritime culture had to confront and negotiate with its greatest nightmare, so that these narratives possess a complex ideological dimension. As a result, the genre has much to tell us about the construction of British identity in this period, while shedding equally valuable light on British attitudes to a range of cultural 'Others', and the mechanisms by which images of such 'Others' were fashioned and disseminated.
Shipwreck narratives also provide a fascinating new perspective on topics as diverse as Romantic-era popular culture, the sublime, sentimentalism and sensationalism, popular representations of the sailor, the literature of religious and moral improvement, and travel writing.