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‘“For the sake of illustrating principles”: Wordsworth, the Convention of Cintra, and Satirical Prints’

Valladares, Susan (2013) '‘“For the sake of illustrating principles”: Wordsworth, the Convention of Cintra, and Satirical Prints’.', European Romantic Review, 24 (5). pp. 31-54.


Wordsworth's pamphlet Concerning the Relations of Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal to each other, and to the common enemy; at this crisis, and specifically as affected by the Convention of Cintra (1809) is, arguably, one of Romanticism's most nuanced examples of political prose. Written to capture the political excitement occasioned by a contentious armistice and the complex ideological issues raised by Britain's military involvement in the Iberian Peninsula, it was composed over seven long, exhausting months. During this time, Wordsworth worked assiduously to keep abreast of the latest developments both at home and abroad. But while his pamphlet's poetic and philosophical inflections have received excellent treatment, its more journalistic qualities have tended to be overlooked. This article argues that satirical print culture – at once popular, topical and ideologically nuanced – can significantly supplement our understanding of the newsworthiness associated with some of Cintra's most salient themes. Satirical prints – hitherto an untapped resource for Cintra scholars – constituted important vehicles for political debate during the Peninsular War: they are here adduced in order to open up a new interpretative framework for Wordsworth's pamphlet and its involved publication history.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Romantic Review on 16 September 2013, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:12 August 2021
Date of first online publication:16 September 2013
Date first made open access:12 August 2021

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