Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money

Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money

Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money

Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790-1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money

Synopsis

Erik Simpson calls attention to the mercenary in romantic literature and uncovers his significance within American and European contexts. The mercenary of popular imagination disregards patriotic feeling in favor of whichever commander pays best. Like the slave, the mercenary obeys a master with no claim to national, religious, or familial affiliation, and his choice to serve an alien master (often by crossing the Atlantic) stands at once for an overindulgence of freedom and the failure to appreciate its value.

Simpson's primary research underpins a suggestive metaphorical and symbolic argument based on writings by Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Charlotte Smith.

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