The Byron Journal

A ‘Romantic Land’ Twice Invaded, and Twice Supported: Byron, Hemans, Moore, and ‘Hafiz’ on Spain, 1808–14 and 1820–23

The Byron Journal (2020), 48, (1), 33–44.

Abstract

Byron called Spain a ‘romantic land’ in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and in The Age of Bronze, thus repeating his support for the Spanish, who were facing major episodes of national crisis: first a Napoleonic, later, a Royalist, invasion. Byron was not alone. Other well-known contemporary writers, Felicia Hemans and Thomas Moore, and the less known yet influential Robert Stott (‘Hafiz’), had shown their support for Spain on both occasions. Was this an expression of these authors’ unabated trust in Spain, or of their sustained loyalty to their own convictions? Were they lending their support to different Spanish causes on each occasion? This article situates the analysis of these poets’ sympathy towards Spain within the historical and political shifts that divide the two instances of Byron’s use of ‘Romantic land’. The range of authors and texts presented here shows how the dramatic events in Spain during the Peninsular War and its aftermath, right up to the Congress of Verona, fascinated contemporary English poets.

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Author details

Blanco, Agustín Coletes