In Liberal Epic, Edward Adams examines the liberal imaginationas centuries-long dependence on contradictory, and mutually constitutive, attitudes toward violent domination. Adams centers his ambitious analysis on a series of major epic poems, histories, and historical novels, including Drydenas Aeneid, Popeas Iliad, Gibbonas Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Byronas Don Juan, Scottas Life of Napoleon, Napieras History of the War in the Peninsula, Macaulayas History of England, Hardyas Dynasts, and Churchillas military historiesaworks that rank among the most important publishing events of the past three centuries yet that have seldom received critical attention relative to their importance. In recovering these neglected works and gathering them together as part of a self-conscious literary tradition here defined as liberal epic, Adams provides an archaeology that sheds light on contemporary issues such as the relation of liberalism to war, the tactics for sanitizing heroism, and the appeal of violence to supposedly humane readers. Victorian Literature and Culture SeriesGiven such aloftya principles, it is striking that Mill chooses to frame the essay in terms of a defense of English idealism and English shock at being doubted. Ultimately, the excited heroic tones of the internationalist weirdly echo the studied anbsp;...
|Publisher||:||University of Virginia Press - 2011-08-30|