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Title: The idea of Europe and the Shelley-Byron circle
Author: Stock, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0001 1079 6258
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis investigates how Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and their circle understood 'Europe'. It examines the geographical, political and ideological concepts they associated with the term, and the locations, historical episodes, political institutions or opposing 'others' they used to construct those understandings. The thesis builds upon recent work which questions the traditional association of Romanticism with nationalism. However, my discussion does not promote a transnational 'cosmopolitan ideal'. Instead, I am interested in Europe as a concept rich with analytic possibilities: it can evoke totalising narratives of common history or identity and also express a range of competing political and ideological systems. The study of Europe can highlight new ways to understand the complexities of identity formation and the politics of community in the Romantic period. My first chapter analyses the uses and meanings ofthe term 'Europe' in all encyclopaedias published in Britain between 1771 and 1830, outlining historical methodologies for understanding the concept. Subsequent chapters use these insights to discuss the Shelley-Byron circle's ideas. Chapter two explores how Byron experienced and imagined Europe while travelling to the Near East in 1809-11. Chapter three concerns the Shelley-Byron circle's reactions to the battIe of Waterloo, especially how they understand Europe in terms of 'liberty'. Chapter four discusses the ideas of Europe which emerge from Shelley's reflections on the French Revolution. In chapter five, I analyse how Shelley builds his understandings of Europe upon specific historical events, but also universalises European civilisation into an ideal for all places and periods. Chapter six considers the Byron circle's denunciation of the 'Concert of Europe' diplomatic system following the Congress of Verona in 1822. Lastly, chapter seven investigates how Byron uses the Greek War of Independence to re-conceptualise the history and future of Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available