Hazlitt once lampooned Coleridge's opinions in The London Magazine and in 1829 his Paris publisher attacked him publicly for them; later in the century, Matthew Arnold boldly censured his prejudice and Charles de Remusat coolly pointed it out in Revue des Deux Mondes, but since then criticism has been oddly silent on the subject. (3) Even the scrupulous editors of the notebooks and collected works tend to play down the francophobia, sometimes excusing the prejudice as 'bias' or 'habitual disapproval', (4) sometimes simply ignoring it altogether. (5) One remarkable instance of the latter occurs in relation to that 'Moses' anecdote told in the Biographia. Coleridge famously describes how he and a Prussian companion were admiring the majestic aspect of Michelangelo's statue, associating the horns with those of the rising sun and ancient eastern potentates, when two French officers came by. They stopped to look at the statue and, true to expectation, could think of nothing but goats and cuckolds. The Biographia's editors direct readers to a manuscript note where Coleridge tells the same events and they even quote the manuscript in a footnote. But for some reason they leave out the last, crucial sentence: the bad taste belonged to 'a Captain Stopforth whom I had the disgrace of being forced to acknowledge to be an Englishman'. (6)
What is surprising about this is not the fact that the anecdote in the Biographia is half fiction (we have become used to Coleridge's fictions), or even that the editors have managed to conceal the deliberate misrepresentation (the bullish defensiveness of the Bollingen Coleridge is, after all, one of its most captivating features), but that at a time when so much has been laid to his account, from addiction and plagiarism to nothing less than the Romantic Ideology itself, Coleridge's francophobia has been entirely overlooked by friend and foe alike. For though his view of Napoleon has been amply surveyed and the opinions of his contemporaries ably analysed, the 'Gall contra Gallos' has no commentators. (7) Are Coleridgeans embarrassed? Or, given his supposed ignorance of the language, is the matter just not worth taking seriously? (8) Or is this silence tacit approval: as David Simpson argued not long ago, Anglo-American criticism is itself sometimes openly, and more often secretly, hostile to French innovation. (9) And it is precisely because francophobia is a form of prejudice that intractable difficulties arise. In his introduction to the vast collaborative study Patriotism, Raphael Samuel observed how national allegiances routinely vex critical inquiry, since they depend in some measure on irrational modes of argumentation and even the most dispassionate commentator cannot entirely escape them. (10) Discussions about prejudice, whether we like it or not, are always 'loaded'.
But in the case of Coleridge two other factors come into play. One is an abiding nervousness among critics about apostasy and the accompanying reluctance to examine at length the years between the first Morning Post journalism (1798) and the first drafts of the Biographia (1815). Thanks to Nicholas Roe, Ian Wylie, and Patrick Keane, there is now a clearer sense of Coleridge's revolutionary sympathies, and criticism is well placed to inquiry more closely into what happened next. Nevertheless, criticism continues a highly emotional battle between two very different versions of events: consistent conservatism (Thomas McFarland) or elaborate recantation (Norman Fruman), neither of which takes the francophobia into account. (11)
The other is the tendency to concentrate on the domestic issues that helped to shape Coleridge's mature political philosophy (such as parliamentary reform, Catholic emancipation, and commercial expansion) to the exclusion of the international concerns (Mediterranean politics, the Spanish cause, and of course French expansion) that directed his thinking in the crucial years before he became the 'sage of Highgate'. Studies of the mature political thought likewise tend to prefer focused, issue-orientated texts such as the Lay Sermons, the 1818 Friend, and On the Constitution of Church and State to the less well-organized though more wide-ranging journalism and notebooks and the 1809-10 Friend. Books by John Colmer, John T. Miller, and Deirdre Coleman overcome to some extent common assumptions about the parochialism of Coleridge's political thought, though in the end each stays close to home, emphasizing in turn British 'political wisdom' (Colmer), the 'country tradition' (Miller), and the Quakers (Coleman). (12) Somehow francophobia seems incidental.
As criticism today wakes up to history, that view is increasingly difficult to maintain. I want to argue that the genesis of an anti-French prejudice was a crucial moment in Coleridge's reaction to his own Jacobin youth, and that at the same time the prejudice proved to become an indispensable condition for much of his political thought. Focusing on this shady aspect of Coleridge's politics benefits from, and contributes to, an understanding of early-nineteenth-century British attitudes to otherness. This work is already well under way in eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century studies, stimulated by a kind of Derridean fascination with the anxieties that accompany representation and by a sceptical attitude toward the appropriation and control of ethical and epistemological encounters. From what Wlad Godzich has called the 'heterological countertradition', (13) criticism has lately acquired a heightened sensitivity to otherness and to the variety of ways it is routinely denied. All of this helps to bring negative, unproductive, perhaps puzzling, attitudes and phenomena, such as francophobia and its attendant propaganda, within the scope of critical inquiry. The result in the case of early-nineteenth-century British cultural history is a clearer picture of how the French were regularly dehumanized, deprived of language or status, linked with sexual or animal perversion, even denied redemption. (14)
Scholarly opinion, though, is still divided about what francophobia meant in political terms. According to Stella Cottrell, for example, British xenophobia was a deep-seated fear of French hegemony on the part of the governing elite, who spread alarmist propaganda in order to manage an unpredictable, potentially revolutionary, working class. This is in some sense a revived 'Whig' interpretation, according to which the forces for reform (mostly French sympathizers) were duped into an allegiance to paternalism under the guise of national self-interest. The strategy worked and constitutional reform was consequently delayed for decades. (15) Linda Colley offers another version: misrepresenting the French helped to rally popular opinion around the newly emergent notion of British (as opposed to English) identity (a 'highly rational [...] and a creative' response to the pressures of war), though misunderstanding the enemy would eventually have dangerous consequences. (16) Colley and others are sceptical about strictly identifying class membership with a specific political allegiance and ask whether the ruling elite, in trying to stir francophobic opinion in the lower classes, was not really preaching to the converted. They point to pro-monarchical, anti-French petitions and marches, as well as to the moderate success of the volunteer movement in 1803-05, as evidence that popular support for the status quo was far broader than has been supposed. (17) As for pro-French sympathy, it was scattered among the Foxite Whigs and a high-profile but disorganized band of radicals, neither of whom ever came very close to holding political power; antagonism to the French, on the other hand, was endemic.
A third option is made available by Gerald Newman, who claims that anti-French discourse was instrumental in the establishment of middle-class consciousness, as it sought to distance itself from both proletarian 'Jacobinism' and aristocratic privilege. (18) This view steers a course between the first two. Here the ruling elite is seen (as in Cottrell's account) disseminating francophobic propaganda in order to protect the elite hegemony: for Pitt, containing France abroad and quelling dissent at home were inseparable policies pursued with equal vigour. But the lower and middle classes were not duped by the propaganda, nor did they already agree with its message. Rather, the widespread support for the British nation, engineered by the francophobic elite in a period of crisis, soon slipped from their control as popular commitment to Britain far outstripped commitment to oligarchic government. More particularly, francophobia became a platform from which the middle class could launch claims for moderate parliamentary reform (distinguishing itself from the allegedly Jacobin working class) and on which it could base its moral criticism of the French manners of the ruling elite. In line with this view, some have pointed out that the discourses of nationalism and patriotism were by no means limited to the terms favoured by oligarchic government, as both radicals and moderates styled themselves true patriots without substantially altering their political agenda, thus attempting to disarm their critics and, in the long run, to legitimize the newly emergent forms of liberalism. (19)
Clearly these views are not mutually exclusive. Francophobia in early-nineteenth-century Britain was certainly widespread and, especially just after the failure of the Peace of Amiens, spontaneous, while at the same time it was undoubtedly shaped by government propaganda and in some cases also used to camouflage liberal ideology. In any case, arbitrating between these views will have to wait until more is known about the way political ideas were disseminated and absorbed by the labouring class: so far at least, most research on francophobia has been directed to published material of the period, such as broadsheets and songs, which easily reveal the propagandist intentions of the authors but say little about the political sympathies of their readers. There is, though, something immediately appealing about the third view on offer. For in attending to the ways in which francophobia escaped from oligarchic control and was claimed rather awkwardly by middle-class centre-right liberals, this view helps to make sense of non-aligned figures such as Coleridge: people who saw themselves as conscientious objectors to both Jacobin ideology and French expansionism (and ended up virulent francophobes as a result) yet who had little sympathy for the vested interests of the ruling elite and little direct involvement in party politics. In other words, these were people for whom francophobia was not simply a reactionary measure (Cottrell), nor a special ploy to rouse nationalist feeling (Colley), though both were present to a degree, but a way to organize and make credible certain key ideas about political structure, especially those concerning authority and representation. One weakness in this approach (and it is evident in Newman's article on anti-French propaganda) is the tendency to represent this as a gain, as if basing the middle-class moral agenda upon a francophobic platform had been a judicious decision, which was repaid later in the century by certain liberal conquests. In the case of Coleridge, the francophobia did indeed play a role in organizing his political thought, but the consequences were not necessarily felicitous.
Though by 1800 Coleridge was increasingly anti-gallican and anti-Jacobin, opposed to both the expansionist policy and the revolutionary ideology of the Directorate, (20) he did not yet despise the French themselves. In the Morning Post journalism, particularly on the issue of peace, he managed to distinguish between French policy and thought on the one hand (Jacobinism and atheism, to be condemned) and the French people on the other (abused peasants and luckless aristocrats, to be pitied). For all the bluster here and in the early denunciations of Napoleon that soon followed, Coleridge blamed the leader not the people for the country's ills, indirectly awakening sympathy for a nation tyrannized and oppressed. Even some of the early arguments against French materialism similarly kept to their target: in the new republic every peasant swapped natural piety for atheism, but it was Voltaire who made that choice an attractive one and who must consequently bear the responsibility. It was only after the Peace of Amiens, with the invasion scare of 1803-04 and then the experience in Malta, that Coleridge began deliberately to blur the distinction between people and policy, culture and government, and that the francophobia firmly took hold.
For several years since his return from Germany, Coleridge had continued to call for an end to Pitt's war with Revolutionary France. A new French government in November 1799 and a charismatic new leader willing to negotiate made peace more possible than ever before. Coleridge was not blind to the illegitimacy of Napoleon's claim to power or to the undemocratic basis of Sieyes's new constitution, both of which he analysed at considerable length. (21) But he found reason to remain optimistic about French liberty. After a brief scourging by a strict military leader, the French would be called to their senses, overthrow 'the Corsican usurper', and set up in his place a less autocratic form of government, preferably a constitutional monarchy with the Bourbon on the throne. But this happy outcome was possible only if France were not bound up in a foreign war. 'Every state', Coleridge cautioned, 'in which all the inhabitants without distinction of property are roused to the exertion of a public spirit, is for the time a Jacobin State' (EOT, I, 75 (4 January 1800)). Ending the hostilities would allow the French people to attend to private rather than public affairs and thus lead to a dissipation of Jacobin sympathy. Britain could end a costly and unpopular war and achieve the result it longed for: a quiet and self-absorbed neighbour.
The prospects for peace were real enough. In late 1799 Napoleon had repeatedly offered to end hostilities, but the Pitt administration repeatedly declined. The First Consul clearly needed time to set the country on a firm commercial and political base after the Directorate's wearying war as well as to consolidate his hold on power in the process (intending to rule a good deal longer than Coleridge, in his optimistic analysis, anticipated). But for Britain, too, the war no longer promised any immediate political or ideological advantage and the increasing cost was becoming difficult to justify. In the end, Pitt and his bellicose government arrogantly persevered, to the shared dismay of Coleridge, the Morning Post, and Napoleon.
The favouring of peace was a late and final glimmering of Coleridge's once strong radical sympathies. While in parliament the Tory government was offering ever new obstacles to peace and the Whig opposition was desperately rejecting them, an informal association of long-time radicals, based mostly outside London, was gathering support for an end to the war with France. As J. E. Cookson has shown, these were thinkers, preachers, activists (one or two with connections to the Whigs) who had been opposing the war since 1793, among other anti-ministerial activities. (22) Many were linked to dissenting sects of various creeds; some, like John Thelwall, had been members of the London Corresponding Society and had been involved in the treason trials of 1795. Without a party they were hardly an identifiable political force, though by their number and prominence they formed a considerable lobbying group. In 1800 they were the ones who read with sympathy Coleridge's calls for peace in the Morning Post. And when the Peace of Amiens finally came into force in March 1802, they were the ones who welcomed it most warmly.
For Coleridge it was a victory of sorts, even though the terms agreed by the insecure Addington administration hardly favoured British interest: 'We, i.e. Wordsworth & myself, regard the Peace as necessary', Coleridge wrote to Poole in October 1801, 'but the terms as most alarming' (CL, II, 771). He was aligning his voice with the opposition Whigs, for the last time as it turned out. His stand in these years until mid-1802 was publicly anti-ministerial in a way it never was again, and though his views were hardly pro-French, like those of the 'genius' Fox, or his friend Thelwall, it was not francophobic either. If anything, Coleridge's cautious hope that France might subside into a stable political neighbour indicates a mildly benevolent, even sanguine, attitude towards the French themselves.
Sometime during the middle of 1802 (some months into the Peace), as his own 'genial spirits' failed, Coleridge's hope for a spontaneous, peaceful political resolution of Anglo-French differences began to fade. Wordsworth, who had travelled across the channel in the summer, was disheartened by the political insecurity ('Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!') and his reports fuelled Coleridge's misgivings. But the more immediate occasion for the change in mood was the Concordat of May 1802, by which Napoleon secured the consulship for life, and the invasion of Switzerland that followed in October. It was, as Sara Coleridge observed in 1850, Napoleon's conduct that provoked Coleridge and the Morning Post to cross over in the autumn of 1802 from 'warm interest in the cause of the French nation to decided Anti-Gallicanism, from earnest demands for peace to vigorous defence of renewed and continued war' (quoted in EOT, I, lxiv). Yet the francophobic rhetoric introduced around this time seems more of a deliberate strategy than a symptom of prejudice. Certainly the new bellicosity in the Morning Post is unmistakable, particularly in Coleridge's famous comparison of France with Rome under its most despotic Caesars, and in this call for
Europe, and, above all, [...] Great Britain, to be always watchful, always on the guard. We must be jealous of the progress of their truly slavish language among us; we must be detectors and detesters of their mock philosophy, of their false and boastful pretensions in science and literature, equally as in politics. (EOT, I, 324 (25 September 1802))
A few months later Coleridge turned up the heat even more. Fox, who had had an awkward audience with Napoleon that summer, was accused by Coleridge of immoderate francophilia:
Your language, your sentiments, were felt as Gallican.--If your harangues in the House of Commons, and at the Whig Club, were to be published under any one title, Vindiciae Gallicae, is that which [...] would best designate their general contents. (EOT, I, 379 (4 November 1802))
Coleridge could play the game well: if in the unquiet peace of 1802 Fox would defend the French, Coleridge would be prosecutor, and a vital part of his case would be to demonstrate the political threat posed not only by French military advances but by French cultural achievement.
Yet at the commencement of the Peace at least, and for a year or so after, Coleridge continued to describe relations with France more often in military terms than in cultural terms. While opposing the Whig doctrine of appeasement, he still maintained something of that Whig-like ability to distinguish between the French nation, its people and language, on the one hand and the French military government on the other. Almost all the arguments in the Morning Post articles of 1802-03 draw upon the crimes of Napoleon as grounds for renewed hostilities, and only incidentally upon the character of the French themselves. In a way, the warnings about 'the slavish language' of the enemy and the alleged 'Gallicanism' of the Whig leaders were part of an editorial campaign to startle the Morning Post's complacent Whig readership, a campaign that involved borrowing xenophobic phrases from Cobbett's more conservative Political Register (23) and emphasizing appearances rather than facts (it was no secret that even in Paris Fox was, after all, still very suspicious of Napoleon's ambition). (24) At this stage, at least, the francophobic elements in Coleridge's journalism were contrived and exaggerated, brought in especially for the occasion of shocking liberal opinion during peacetime. Coleridge and his employer, Daniel Stuart, were engaged in editorializing of a particularly reckless and alarmist sort the goal of which was not really to convince the opposition of the depravity of French culture but to awaken them to the real threat posed by the ambition of an 'insolent neighbour', Napoleon. The quarrel, said Coleridge as late as 1803, was 'between Great Britain and the First Consul' (EOT, I, 430 (20 August)).
A glance at Coleridge's letters confirms his tendency at this time still to think of Napoleon and France in separate terms. While warning Europe of Napoleonic danger in the Morning Post, he was seriously entertaining the prospect of travelling to France with Thomas Wedgwood, who desperately needed a warmer climate for his health. They would avoid Paris, as Coleridge had told Poole he should have done, but they would travel the length of the country aiming for the southern coast. (25) Publicly Coleridge was calling for war; privately he was acting as if that unsteady Peace would last indefinitely. When hostilities formally began in March 1803, he was actually surprised. Of his travel plans he writes to Southey, 'All this being settled, pounce! comes this damned War-business' (CL, II, 937).
In short, until the late summer of 1803 (that is, even after the Peace of Amiens had collapsed) the driving force behind Coleridge's increasingly bellicose tone was the desire to warn Britons of the threat posed by Napoleon's ambition. In a way, this new attitude was taken not on evidence (by all accounts Napoleon's hold on the country was still not perfectly secure) but on political instinct that had, since the failed peace proposals of 1800, grown increasingly vigilant and increasingly sceptical. Francophobia crept into his arguments when it seemed that Napoleon's ambition was going to translate into military aggression, but it remained mostly within his own control as a rhetorical tool; it heightened the pitch of his argument, but did not alter the direction. Only when Napoleon finally did threaten Britain with invasion in late 1803 did that delicate distinction between leader and people fade and Coleridge's francophobia begin in earnest.
Opinion is still divided over whether Napoleon could have successfully sent his army across the Channel on the huge rafts his engineers were enthusiastically designing. In any case, in Britain the threat was perceived as real and everyone, including the anti-war liberals, joined in the efforts of national self-defence: Fox abandoned the calls for peace, William Frend wrote a pamphlet on patriotism, and Tom Wedgwood, who returned from his continental tour just in time, paid for a regiment of local volunteers. Coleridge too offered to sign up: 'Let us be humble before our Maker', he wrote to his brother George, 'but not spirit-palsied before our blood-thirsty Enemies' (CL, II, 1006 (2 October 1803)). It was not Napoleon he was preparing to meet, but the legions of Frenchmen who supported him. If in 1800 Coleridge supposed the French might overthrow military despotism in favour of constitutional monarchy, by late 1803 he was convinced, to his horror, that the French preferred the tyrant and would willingly further his aggressive policies.
The invasion scare of 1803-04 darkened Coleridge's view of the French, but it was his experience in the politically unstable Mediterranean from 1804 to 1806 that confirmed his worst fears. As Donald Sultana has shown, Coleridge arrived in the region at a time when tension was high, with the French threatening British interests in Naples, Sicily, and Egypt even after the defeat of their fleet at Trafalgar. (26) Seen from the isolated shores of Malta, Britain's only sure foot in the region, the French military presence was ominously close. Coleridge's arrival there, like his subsequent travels through Sicily and Italy, was determined in large part by military exigency and the accompanying inconvenience, and anxiety eventually outstripped his initial excitement at being on the edge of empire. The close proximity of the hostile French led him to consider how little their foreign policy had changed, for in spite of their newly acquired rights at home the French were still no more liberal or peaceable abroad than they had been under the Bourbons.
This view was driven home by an anonymous pamphlet, published in London in 1803, called A Summary Account of Leibnitz's Memoir. It was an abridged version of a plan drawn up in 1672 by the young Leibnitz, recommending that Louis XIV take possession of Egypt as the first step in a new crusade to the Holy Land. (27) The person responsible for publishing the pamphlet was Granville Penn, an under-secretary in the Colonial office with responsibilities for Mediterranean affairs and a friend of Malta's Civil Commissioner, Sir Alexander Ball. The book was reviewed at length in the Gentleman's Magazine in October 1803 and Ball was circulating copies of the book and the review around the time Coleridge arrived the following summer. (28) The point of publishing the Memoir was to prove (albeit against the facts of history, for Louis had not ever been tempted by the plan) that the French had always harboured expansionist ambitions in the Mediterranean. 'From the administration of Richelieu to that of Buonaparte', declared the prefatory note, 'France, under all her changes, has steered by the same star.' (29) Coleridge was quickly convinced, and the same argument began to appear in some of the state papers he was writing as under-secretary in Ball's administration. In 'Observations on Egypt', for example, he argued that the French would probably return to Egypt and that Britain should simply annex it now rather than fight for it later. It was a question of containment:
Englishmen must now not be suffered to forget, that Greatness and Safety are with us Words of one meaning. Not by choice or our own Ambition, but by necessity and from the Ambition of France, our motto must henceforward be Aut Caesar aut nihil. (EOT, III, 197-98 (July 1804))
It was out of this duty to defend British interests in the Mediterranean, and not only (as Sultana has suggested) out of indolence or spleen, that Coleridge allowed the francophobia to dominate his arguments. For if France gained control of Egypt, Sicily, and northern Africa, Coleridge reasoned in a letter to Southey, 'she would be in a far grander sense than the Roman, an Empire of the World--& what would remain to England? England & [...] our language & institutions in America?' (CL, II, 1164 (2 February 1805)). Cornered with Ball on a lonely British outpost, with London equivocating about its importance and Nelson, preoccupied at Toulon, reluctant to spare more than a single frigate for its protection, Coleridge's sense of vulnerability was acute and he protested loud and long.
The anxiety about French military hegemony soon began to express itself as a hostility to French language and culture. This had often occurred earlier in a public context, but now for the first time francophobic remarks appeared in the privacy of the notebooks:
[Their language] attains its end by turns of phrase [...] that, like flowery Turfs covering & wholly concealing a Hollow, seem to have, but have not, a Substratum & preeminently too by a perpetual Tampering with the morals without offending the Decencies. (CN, II, 2431 (February 1805), fol. 4v)
Or more generally:
and o! that I could find a France for my Love/but ah! spite of Paschal, Madame Guyon, and Moliere France is my Babylon, the Mother of Whoredoms in Morality, Philosophy, Taste/ the French themselves feel a foreigness in these Writers/How indeed it is possible at once to love Paschal. & Voltaire? (CN, II, 2598 (May-August 1805))
Unlike the francophobic gestures in the Morning Post, which helped defend a new editorial position in the context of a political debate, Coleridge's notebook complaints in Malta were unconnected to either an argument or an audience. A kind of naive prejudice had firmly set in. Not long after his return to England in mid-1806, Coleridge admitted:
Amabam Galliam (quatenus et quantum a vere Anglo amari Gallia potest) vel eo nomine quod--nobis dedisset: nunc odio eandem eo etiam ipso nomine prosequor. (I used to love France (as far and as much as France can be loved by a true Englishman)--France, or whatever she gave us in that name: but now I pursue her, in that very same name, with hatred.) (CN, II, 2940 and note (November-December 1806))
In the end it was the military threat to Britain and to British interests in the Mediterranean between late 1803 and 1806 that established Coleridge's francophobia: it confirmed his suspicions about Napoleon's ambition and justified in retrospect the francophobic flourishes in his journalism. It led him to dissolve the distinction, favoured by the Whigs, between French policy on the one hand and the French people on the other, and justified his consideration of the French in exclusively ideological terms.
From this point on, the francophobia became a permanent fixture in his political thought. For after Malta, all Coleridge's views of French culture and history were coloured by the alleged complicity of all the French people in the military aggression against British interest. He was more convinced than ever that France was a guilty nation and must pay for its political and philosophical crimes. He drew up a long list, headed by aggression, tyranny, democracy, and atheism, for which France was to be brought to account, and expended considerable effort refining the charges and assembling the available evidence, whether anecdotal, historical, or philosophical. History has long since considered the charges and the evidence, passing its judgement in the candid assessment of Thackeray:
We prided ourselves on our vainglory; we dealt to our enemy a monstrous injustice of contempt and scorn; we fought him with all weapons, mean as well as heroic. There was no lie we would not believe; no charge of crime which our furious prejudice would not credit. (30)
What remains to be studied, though, is how Coleridge made his case, the strategies he employed, and the kinds of discourse available to him. Rather like the representations of the Orient in the period, which in various ways sought to domesticate and control the strangeness of foreign culture, Coleridge's representations of France aimed to restrict the influence of a foreign culture by speaking for it and not with it. (31) His meeting with Madame de Stael in 1813 is emblematic not only of his attitude to the French but of his tactics in dealing with them: he spoke and she kept silent, though as a renowned conversationalist herself one can only wonder by what strength of will she kept the peace. Her complaint afterwards might well be that of the French nation itself: Coleridge was a master of monologue, 'mais [...] il ne savait pas le dialogue'. (32)
In any cross-cultural encounter that takes place in the context of confrontation rather than, say, exchange or dialogue, the tendency to misrepresent and even fictionalize the other is irresistible. Metaphors, once used to extend the understanding of the other, lose their connotative meanings and are instead taken for reality. (33) In the case of Coleridge, what is most characteristic is a drive to exaggerate the differences between the two nations. I shall suggest later what Coleridge hopes to gain from such an endeavour, but first I want to take note of two strategies employed in the exaggeration of difference: horror and ridicule.
Coleridge's description of the French in horrific terms is largely confined to the war years, reaching its zenith in the debate about the Peninsular War. At a time when Britain seemed unsure it could oppose France alone (the imprudent Convention of Cintra (August 1808) and the subsequent failure of Moore's invasion (November 1808 to January 1809) were severe blows to the nation's self-confidence) Coleridge comes out in favour of intervention in the strongest possible terms. His argument in the Courier is vigorous, made up of repeated appeals to first principles and an extended historical parallel between the heroic Dutch resistance to Spain in the sixteenth century and the current Spanish uprising against Napoleonic France. Both were sanctioned by 'the power of the insulted FREE-WILL, steadied by the approving conscience, and struggling against brute force and iniquitous compulsion for the common rights of human nature' (EOT, II, 52-53 (9 December 1809)). The persistence of the Spanish themselves is seen as proof that the true 'invisible spirit that breathes through a whole people' can never be crushed; at one point Coleridge is confident enough to suggest that with or without Wellington's help, the Spanish will eventually throw out the French (EOT, II, 94 (20 January 1810)). For good or ill, there is plenty in these arguments to make Whiggish 'peace men' as well as defeatist Tories think twice about dismissing the justice of the Spanish cause. What is interesting is that Coleridge should then, in summoning up his case, spend so much time shocking his readers with horrifying portraits of Napoleon and the French. He is 'a perjured liberticide, an usurper, and a tyrant', 'an enemy of our common nature in its dignity and in its loveliness'. One essay concludes (with references to Wordsworth's Cintra pamphlet) with a list of Napoleon's 'ingratitude, perfidy, baseness, and fiend-like cruelty'; another with a picture of the 'moral devastation' wrought by an 'individual of consummate wickedness' who has taken hold of 'all the natural and artificial forces of a populous and wicked nation'. (34) This last is a borrowing from The Friend, where similarly an argument based on historical analogy (Napoleon's greatness is nothing compared to Charlemagne's, since France was weak and Europe morally frail when he took power) gives way later to assertions about 'his truly Satanic Government' and the monstrous inability of the French to write on great subjects such as politics and religion. (35)
The rhetoric of horror is a powerful but unwieldy tool. Clearly, in unguarded moments Coleridge is carried away by the force of his own images, with rational arguments abandoned for expressions of violence. But this causes little regret. In fact, a new earnestness characterizes his francophobia around the time of the Spanish rebellion: whereas in 1802-03 he publicly advocated war while privately planning a trip to the south of France, by 1808 no such distinctions were made. The horrible appears compellingly in this letter to Sir George Beaumont:
This heroic Nation [the Spanish], loyal even to Death, the cometary Monster who hides beneath his gorgeous, or within his iron, Crown of Usurpation, Locks still loathly from the putrid Cap of Jacobin Liberty, howls his hoarse Laugh at, as the genuine Decedents of Don Quixote--a rebellious Mob of fanatical Democrats. Don Quixote? I should glory in the Descent if to have the Corsican at the root of my Ancestral Tree were the only alternative! There was more wisdom in the Heart of that illustrious Madman, than that of all France, were it assembled in one Head. (CL, III, 147 (14 December 1808))
Coleridge's monstrous France might well come from some print by James Gillray, and though the bathetic passage from Gorgon to Don Quixote is literary in a playful sort of way, its power to dehumanize its subject is equally forceful. In fact, language and literary works would themselves constitute a new battleground on which to meet the cunning foe, as Coleridge warns, now publicly, in 1810:
The language and peculiar customs of a country are an important part of its fortifications; and a Briton taught from his infancy to speak the French language, admire French books, and imitate French manners, is already half a Frenchman in his heart. Nay, a country in which, as was the case in Prussia, a majority of the higher ranks consisted of persons thus Gallicised, was subdued in effect, before the French army put the last seal on the conquest by the battle of Jena. (EOT, II, 98-99 (20 January 1810))
Though this is hardly true as a principle of historical causation (it was the francophile Russian aristocracy, after all, that led resistance to the Grande Armee in 1812), as an insight into the ideological consequences of cultural production and transmission it is, to say the least, before its time. It is still, however, only half true. Coleridge's mistake here is to assume that just because language is ideologically charged in the same way as a military conquest, its undesirable effects can be forestalled by the same coercive means as those found on the battlefield. For language conforms to and also resists legislation in unpredictable ways; its ideological force is manageable only by an altered use of language itself. This seems to be the view Coleridge comes to later in Biographia Literaria, where the military imagery famously reappears but only to describe the self-regulating agency of language itself: 'Language is the armoury of the human mind; and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future conquests' (BL, II, 30-31). In January 1810 that view was only beginning to take shape and, obsessed with the prospect of French military and cultural hegemony on the continent, Coleridge could only warn of the ill consequences of speaking the enemy's tongue. It remains a startling reminder of the strength of Coleridge's xenophobia and a clear indication of the horrific terms used to arouse fear and strengthen resistance.
Such representations of France as a 'monstrosity' and a 'Giant-fiend' (CL, III, 332 (4 June 1811)) mostly appear during the war years. In peace time, when the national interest is no longer under military threat, francophobia expresses itself more comfortably as mockery. In print Coleridge alludes to the 'grimace' and 'characteristic nasal twang' that distinguish Frenchmen and ridicules their culinary pretensions. (36) Privately, particularly in the marginalia where readership is strictly limited, Coleridge's mockery of the French is much more abrasive. Comments on cannibalism by Hartley Coleridge (in Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire (1832-33)) put Coleridge in mind of the French notion of 'love', which he exposes as the lust by which a victim is devoured (CM, II, 73). French 'love' includes not only rape but also, according to an earlier notebook entry, 'infra-abominal Inquietudes', or bestiality (CN, III, 4015 (November 1810)). And in a lighter mood, Coleridge playfully evokes popular stereotypes:
O Gallia ter felix, ranarum rararumq[ue] avium rariorumque piscium ferax! ut crocitas, ut glocitas, ut gallicinaris! qualem Quac-quac et Splash-spleish fecisti semper et u[bique] facis! (CM, ii, 177 and n. 4 (c. 1827)) (O thrice-fruitful France, abounding with frogs and rare birds and rarer fishes! how you croak and cluck and crow! what a quack-quack and splish-splosh you have always made and make everywhere!)
Since the sixteenth century the French had been associated with the hen and since the early nineteenth with the frog: the 'rarer fishes', though, must be Coleridge's own contribution (is this a version, perhaps, of George Cuvier's animal classification?). The remark appears in the margin of a French work of anthropology, Histoire naturelle des races humaines (1826) by Antoine Desmoulins, which at this point takes issue with Cuvier, founder of palaeontology and pioneer in comparative anatomy and one of the few French contemporaries Coleridge comes close to admiring. But then, as Coleridge elsewhere insists (stretching the facts a little), Cuvier was not really French at all: with Protestant ancestry and German connections, his credentials were beyond anything France could itself produce, and if he sometimes strayed into materialism it was the result of his living among Frenchmen and not of his own sober judgement. (37) The fact that the French Desmoulins disagreed with the 'German' Cuvier simply confirms Coleridge's expectations.
The politically charged representations of the French in the war journalism and the droll caricatures that emerged subsequently in private notes meet in one remarkable note left in the margins of Milton's Works in 1808. As a single extended metaphor it surely ranks among Coleridge's most colourful pieces of satire found in the notebooks and letters, while in patriotic fervour it matches the most heated moments in Letters on the Spaniards. With the Courier editor Daniel Stuart as its likely first reader (the book was apparently on loan from him at the time), its aim is evidentially not persuasion but amusement; the tone is not polemical but indulgent.
A mine of Lead could sooner take wing and mount aloft at the Call of the Sun with the Dews and with the Lark, than the witty discontinuous Intellect, and sensual Sum Total of a Frenchman could soar up to Religion or to Milton & Shakspear. It is impossible. Frenchmen are the Indigenae, the natives of this Planet--and all the Souls, that are not Wanderers from other Worlds, or destined for other Worlds, who are not mere Probationers here and Birds of passage--all the very own Children of this 'Earth' enter into the wombs of Frenchwomen, from N.E.S.W. and increase the population & Empire of France. Russia furnishes [...] large supplies of French Souls [...] And alas! even G. Britain sends large Colonies thither. What are the greater part of the members of the two Houses of Parliament, especially the Whitbreads, & Roscoe-pamphlet Men, but Souls passing thro' the Stomach & Intestines of England [...] in order to be matured for germinating in France & becoming Frenchmen? some in the next--some in the following generation,--And few (Mr Fox for instance) may even take three or four generations, sinking in each into a nearer proximity, before the Soul is compleatly unsouled into a proper Gaul--This Process is now so common, that every Englishman has cause for alarm, lest instead of singing with Angels, or beating off imp-flies with his Tail among the Infernals, his Spirit should some 50 or a 100 years hence be dancing, crouching, and libidinizing, beneath the Sceptre of one of Napoleon's Successors.--I know no better way, by which he can assure himself of the contrary, and prove his Election either to be a happy angel hereafter, or at worst an honest English Devil, than by his being sincerely conscious, that he reads with delight, feels, understands, and honors the following Works of Milton. This being, it necessarily follows that he loves Sidney, Harrington, Shakspear, & the Poet Milton. (CM, III, 883-84 (March 1808))
The obstetrical, eschatological, and sexual images here are managed with typical Coleridgean finesse, carried off, moreover, in the jocular spirit of a print by Gillray. But while Gillray often modulates his satire with self-irony (his John Bull is well fed but flabby, free but stupid), Coleridge cannot. The absurd, apocalyptic vision of French spiritual degeneration exposes British sympathizers ('G. Britain sends large colonies thither') and ridicules them ('the Whitbreads, & Roscoe-pamphlet Men, but Souls passing thro' the Stomach & Intestines of England') in order to warn true Britons against following their example. France, with all its animality, abnormality, and sexual perversion, is where you go when you no longer maintain the kind of pure English consciousness achieved through loving the poet Milton. It is a purgatory with no hope of escape. Colourful images here belie the stern doctrine that the French have missed out on redemption. They are 'the Indigenae the natives of the Planet', or as Coleridge later puts it, 'the Peccatum originale of the vis vitae plastica of the Planet'. (38) They are not only unredeemed but unredeemable.
Little good can come from simply detailing Coleridge's prejudice, particularly when reprobation seems likely to follow. From the instances cited it is already possible, in any case, to see how the francophobia might be accounted for. Most obviously, perhaps, it is tolerated, even fostered, in the context of Coleridge's longstanding quarrel with the rationalism and materialism of eighteenth-century French thought. That battle rages most of his life, the creativity and piety of his own particular brand of idealism offered repeatedly as the only viable alternative to the mechanical epistemology of the Encyclopedists. Though that defiant and difficult project still stands, and the verdict on its rival (it 'strikes Death') (39) still finds approval, yet Coleridge's habit of thinking oppositionally entails some awkward simplifications (apart from Rousseau, no individual philosophe, let alone the whole sophisticated French reworking of the Lockean tradition, gets sustained attention) (40) and clearly strengthens the francophobia (even the occasional wrong-headed opinions of a few German idealists are quickly labelled 'French'). (41)
To account for the virulence and longevity of the francophobia, it is necessary to turn back to politics, for the separate, and in some sense contradictory, charges of apostasy on the one hand and 'Jacobin youth' on the other drive Coleridge to express francophobic views as a kind of self-defence. Hazlitt's charge that Coleridge forsook the cause of liberty for that of legitimacy is met by arguments detailing the incapacity of the French to carry out their own revolution (they were not yet ready for the freedom they yearned for) and assertions of his own continued commitment to a true, pre-revolutionary notion of liberty. At the same time, the popular charge of 'Jacobin youth', heard loudest in the call for remorse just after the publication of Wat Tyler in 1817, and the dread tag, 'once a Jacobin always a Jacobin', similarly lead Coleridge to assert his francophobic credentials: only the French would even think of something as unlikely to succeed as political revolution.
Coleridge's francophobia is symptomatic, then, of a more general weakness in his argumentation and a persistent anxiety about Jacobin ideology. As such, it is not very unusual: as historians have long pointed out, the growing xenophobia of early-nineteenth-century Britain effectively silenced the revolution debate of the 1790s. But Coleridge himself reflects upon these changing attitudes and even begins to justify them in rational terms. In The Friend he sorts out the intellectual characters of Germany, England, and France with some care, but with France consistently making a poor third ('I had almost said, that Ideas and a Parisian Philosopher are incompatible terms'), the distinctions are not always convincing. (42) The most fair-minded reflections upon anti-French prejudice come tangentially in an 1826 notebook essay on the beneficial effect of Protestantism on preserving the sense of nationality. One tenet in Coleridge's mature political philosophy is that nations prosper when they have each a strong sense of nationhood, independent of each other. (43) This is by no means a kind of 'Euro-scepticism' or, indeed, an endorsement of isolationism, but rather an acknowledgment that historical and cultural differences on the national level tend to resist whatever cosmopolitan pressures are brought to bear on them. As Protestantism is dominated by the Understanding or the 'Discursive Intellect', by individualism and particularity, it favours the constitutions, customs, and by-laws that give strength to this sense of nationality. So far so good. But for the same reasons Protestantism also often favours a certain chauvinism, a 'contempt for other Nations', particularly with regard to their religious practices.
There is no contempt so hearty and thorough as that which is engendered by the sense of the Folly and Absurdity of our neighbour's Religious Creed, Ceremonies & Forms of Worship, as far as and according to the proportion in which they differ from our own.--This will acquire double & treble force, if it should be connected with resentment, and moral indignation and abhorrence from historical recollections and popular traditions of outrageous Cruelty and Perfidy [...] endured by the Professors of our own Belief and inflicted by the Church, the tenets and discipline of which we despised. (CN, IV, 5374 (May 1826), fols 10v, 18)
This sort of 'John-Bull-ism' hardly reflects well on English Protestantism, as Coleridge admits. Whatever the benefits of a strong sense of nationality, 'National Prejudices' cannot in fact serve as the basis of 'National Virtues'. In owning the 'equivocal character' of Protestantism, Coleridge here comes closer than ever to theorizing about his own anti-French prejudice. All the same, he cannot help hinting at the 'outrageous Cruelty and Perfidy' that was committed by the Catholics against the Huguenots and we are narrowly spared a digression on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It is very difficult to be impartial.
There is at least one way, however, in which the francophobia plays a productive role in the development of Coleridge's political thought: it helps facilitate his adoption of an organicist notion of the state. Certainly if he is going to blame the French for the aggression of their leaders, he needs to modify the liberal notion of the state that until about 1804 he was simply assuming. The pressures that led to the resumption of war in 1803 could not be explained wholly in terms of contractual politics. As his hostility to France as a nations grows, so too does his conviction that on one fundamental matter Burke was absolutely right: the state is the result not of the actions of its leaders but of the history and traditions of a people. Inherited rights, rather than claimed rights, determine the balance between liberty and responsibility in any given society. With such an organicist notion of the state in mind, Coleridge could say a few years later, perhaps alarmingly: 'The men [...] are made for the state, not the state for the men.' (44)
In a way Coleridge's point is really about history: the state exists in relation to the past, and only in so far as that past is respected can the state thrive. Clearly this is anti-revolutionary thinking of a strictly uncompromising variety. What this means for France in particular, though, he is at a loss to say: in the Revolution and then under Napoleon, the French had shown such disregard for history that the nation seemed indeed beyond redemption. This despair lies behind much of Coleridge's francophobia and is perhaps the reason for its long continuance. The lesson for Britain, though, is easier to draw and here his prejudice against the French has its most productive practical consequence, for it drives him towards a renewed interest in the constitutional inheritance that defined the British state. That interest surfaces crucially in The Friend 's discussion of Rousseau's Du contrat social, where Coleridge rejects natural rights, deduced from reason, as a basis for government in favour of inherited forms of liberty, established by experience. (45) This new focus on the historical as opposed to rational origins of the constitution leads him to reinterpret his greatest English heroes, the Commonwealthsmen. It is significant that these figures, Milton, Harrington, Sidney, reappear in the notebooks around the time of Malta, the period when his francophobia first sets in. (46) Ten years earlier, in the Watchman and the Bristol lectures, he had been citing the same authors, emphasizing the radical strain of their thought in his attempt to acclimatize contemporary French notions of liberty to the British political environment. Now, with all French models discredited, he turns to the Commonwealth writers for more measured notions of civil liberty and political responsibility that had no pretension to universal validity. (47) Thus, though he continues to vilify the French in what soon become unreasonable and blinding ways, he is also able to plead for the inherited political rights of the British with renewed force and authority, advancing a modified notion of the paternalist state that both the Whigs (by their imitation of French models) and Tories (by their fear of them) had sidelined. This strategy, when mature, would help justify middle-class claims for moderate political reform, particularly the limited expansion of the franchise.
Even here Coleridge makes little attempt to excuse his francophobia, and to the modern reader his most important notions, such as the imagination, unity in multeity, and the clerisy, possess a monumental force when conveyed in Wordsworthian or neo-Kantian terms but seem oddly fragile when raised on the backs of paltry French alternatives. It is as though, when it comes to represent these French alternatives, the Romantic Ideology is once again foiled by history, its achievement evidently resting on the falsification of others, on fictions. Or then again, perhaps that judgement is itself facile. After all (even if Coleridge himself was too upset to notice) there is plenty in his own thought to link him with many of his French contemporaries: not of course with the physiocratic philosophers and Jacobins, the Napoleonists, or even the royalists (Coleridge is never as reactionary as Joseph de Maistre), but with moderate liberals such as Benjamin Constant, Kantians such as Victor Cousin, and Christian apologists such as Chateaubriand, and there is a long tradition of French Protestant theology, which, after Napoleon, closely resembles Coleridge's in its anti-revolutionary spirit. Above all, his opposition to the positivism and religious scepticism of the Enlightenment was already well articulated by an important and diverse group of French intellectuals in his own day. Matthew Arnold once compared Coleridge to Joseph Joubert, the Parisian idealist greatly admired for his celebration of the imagination, his ardent defence of revealed religion, and his eloquent opposition to 'the shallow foolishness of vulgar modern liberalism' (like Coleridge, he never deigned to own a complete set of the works of Voltaire or Rousseau). (48) Each strove for a systematic metaphysical solution and each described it best in the tantalizing fragments of notebooks and letters. If there is more to the French than Coleridge thinks, then there is certainly more of the French in Coleridge than we have been led to believe.
(1) Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. by Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956-71), II, 900 (17 December 1802); hereafter CL.
(2) Biographia Literaria, ed. by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate, 2 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983), II, 116-17; hereafter BL.
(3) Hazlitt, The Complete Works, ed. by P. P. Howe, 21 vols (London: Dent, 1930-34), XVIII, 367-74 (pp. 370-72); The Poetical Works of Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats (Paris: Galignani, 1829), p. x; The Complete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold, ed. by R. H. Super, 11 vols (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960-77), III: Lectures and Essays in Criticism (1962), p. 192; 'Des Controverses religiouses en Angleterre, II: Coleridge-Arnold', Revue des Deux Mondes, seconde partie, V (1856), 492-529 (pp. 511-12).
(4) See, for example, Marginalia, ed. by George Whalley and Heather Jackson, 5 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980-), I, 6 n. 4, 161-62 n. 14, and III, 883 n. 1 (hereafter CM); Shorter Works and Fragments, ed. by Heather Jackson and J. R. de J. Jackson, 2 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), I, 373 n. 2 (hereafter SWF); The Philosophical Lectures of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. by Kathleen Coburn (London and New York: Pilot Press, 1949), p. 416 n. 25 (hereafter PLects).
(5) See, for example, The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. by Kathleen Coburn and others, 5 vols (London: Routledge, 1957-), III, 4041 and n. (hereafter CN) or The Lay Sermons, ed. by R. J. White (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 75 n. 1 (hereafter LS).
(6) London, British Library MS Egerton 2800, fol. 186, now published in SWF, I, 395.
(7) Stephen Bygrave, Coleridge and the Self: Romantic Egoism (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986), pp. 185-92; David P. Calleo, 'Coleridge on Napoleon', Yale French Studies, 26 (1961), 83-93; R. A. Foakes, 'Coleridge, Napoleon, and Nationalism', in Literature and Nationalism, ed. by Vincent Newey and Ann Thompson (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1991), pp. 139-51; Simon Bainbridge, Napoleon and English Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
(8) Coleridge knew more French than he admitted, quoting, punning, and reading in it whenever his interest was aroused. See, for example, The Friend, ed. by Barbara E. Rooke, 2 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969), II, 58 (I, 72), hereafter Friend; LS, pp. 75 n. I, 102; and PLects, p. 363 n. 50; also Jonathan Bouchier and William Black, 'Coleridge's Knowledge of French', Notes & Queries, 5th series, 4 (1875), pp. 126, 312, 375-76, and Trevor H. Levere, Poetry Realized in Nature: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Early Nineteenth-Century Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 76-79.
(9) Romanticism, Nationalism, and the Revolt Against Theory (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 64-83.
(10) Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, ed. by Raphael Samuel, 3 vols (London and New York: Routledge, 1989), I, XI.
(11) Roe, Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988); Wylie, Young Coleridge and the Philosophers of Nature (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989); Keane, Coleridge's Submerged Politics: The Ancient Mariner and Robinson Crusoe (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1994). See also McFarland, 'Coleridge and the Charge of Political Apostasy', in Coleridge's Biographia Literaria: Text and Meaning, ed. by Frederick Burwick (Columbia: Ohio State University Press, 1989), pp. 191-232, and Fruman, 'Coleridge and the Retreat from Democracy', Review, 14 (1992), 115-33.
(12) Colmer, Coleridge: Critic of Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959); Miller, Ideology and Enlightenment: The Social and Political Thought of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (New York and London: Garland, 1987); Coleman, Coleridge and the Friend (1809-10) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988). See also John Morrow, Coleridge's Political Thought: Property, Morality and the Limits of Traditional Discourse (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1990) and Takamaro Hanzawa, 'Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Friend: The Emergence of a Political Philosopher', History of European Ideas, 9 (1988), 681-95.
(13) Introduction to Michel de Certeau, Heterologies: Discourse on the Other, trans. by Brian Massumi (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986), p. xviii.
(14) The best book-length studies are Jeremy Black, Natural and Necessary Enemies: Anglo-French Relations in the Eighteenth Century (London: Duckworth, 1986); Seamus Deane, The French Revolution and Enlightenment in England, 1789-1832 (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1988); Ronald Paulson, Representations of Revolution, 1789-1820 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983). On xenophobia, see Jeremy Black, 'The European Idea and Britain, 1688-1815', History of European Ideas, 17 (1996), 439-60, 'Ideology, History, Xenophobia and the World of Print in Eighteenth-Century England', in Culture, Politics, and Society in Britain, 1660-1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1991), pp. 184-216, and 'A Stereotyped Response? The Grand Tour and Continental Cuisine', Durham University Journal, 83 (1991), 147-53; Michael Duffy, The Englishman and the Foreigner (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1986) and ' "The Noisie, Empty, Fluttering French": English Images of the French, 1689-1815', History Today, 32 (September 1982), 21-26; Reginald Horsman, 'Origins of Racial Anglo-Saxonism in Great Britain before 1850', Journal of the History of Ideas, 37 (1976), 387-410; Eugene Weber, 'Of Stereotypes and of the French', Journal of Contemporary History, 25 (1990), 169-203. More specific studies include R. D. E. Eagles, Francophilia and Francophobia in English Society, 1748-1783 (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Oxford, 1996); Ward Hellstrom, 'Francophobia in Emma', Studies in English Literature, 5 (1965), 607-17; Donald D. Horwood and James Friguglietti, 'Napoleon and Sir Walter Scott: A Study in Propaganda', Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, 9 (1981), 133-44; Louis James, 'Inverted Emblems for Albion: Wellington and Napoleon on Stage', in Patriotism, III, 243-51; Raymond N. Mackenzie, 'Romantic Literary History: Francophobia in the Edinburgh Review and the Quarterly Review', Victorian Periodicals Review, 15 (1982), 42-52; Andrew Robinson, 'Identifying the Beast: Samuel Horsley and the Problem of Papal Anti-Christ', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 43 (1992), 592-607.
(15) English Views of France and the French, 1789-1815 (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Oxford, 1990), and ' "The Devil on Two Sticks": Franco-phobia in 1803', in Patriotism, I, 259-74. For other accounts that stress the success of the government anti-French propaganda, see E. P. Thompson, The Making of the British Working Class (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991); Britain and Revolutionary France: Conflict, Subversion and Propaganda, ed. by Colin Jones (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1983); John Dinwiddy, 'England', in Nationalism in the Age of the French Revolution, ed. by Otto Dann and John Dinwiddy (London: Hambledon, 1988), pp. 53-70.
(16) Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 5. See also 'Britishness and Otherness: An Argument', Journal of British Studies, 31 (1992), 309-26.
(17) See Colley, 'Whose Nation? Class and National Consciousness in Britain, 1750-1830', Past and Present, 113 (1986), 97-117; H. T. Dickinson, British Radicalism and the French Revolution (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985); David Eastwood, 'Patriotism and the English State in the 1790s', in The French Revolution and British Popular Politics, ed. by Mark Philp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 146-68; Clive Emsley, British Society and the French Wars, 1793-1815 (London: Macmillan, 1979): each of these denies, to some extent, the depth of popular French sympathy and radical opinion claimed by Whig historians of the 1960s and 1970s. None goes as far as J. C. D. Clark, who insists that the paternalist state persisted unopposed well into the nineteenth century, the oligarchy not dismantling itself until 1829-32 under immediate religious and political contingencies, rather than cumulative ideological pressure (English Society, 1688-1832: Ideology, Social Structure and Political Practice during the Ancient Regime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)).
(18) 'Anti-French Propaganda and British Liberal Nationalism in the Early Nineteenth Century: Suggestions toward a General Interpretation', Victorian Studies, 18 (1975), 385-418. See also his article, with Frank O'Gorman, 'Aspects of British Nationalism During the Later Eighteenth Century', Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850: Proceedings, 11 (1981), 150-55, and his book The Rise of English Nationalism: A Cultural History, 1740-1830, revised edn (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997).
(19) J. E. Cookson, 'British Society and the French Wars, 1793-1815', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 31 (1985), 192-203, and Hugh Cunningham, 'The Language of Patriotism: 1750-1914', History Workshop, 12 (1981), 8-33. More generally, H. T. Dickinson has argued that the elite retained its supremacy through negotiation with, rather than control of, popular political feeling ('Popular Conservatism and Militant Loyalism', in Britain and the French Revolution, 1789-1815, ed. by H. T. Dickinson (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), pp. 103-25, and The Politics of the People in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995)).
(20) Essays on His Times, ed. by David V. Erdman, 3 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), I, 86 (8 January 1800) and 274 (27 November 1801); hereafter EOT.
(21) EOT, I, 31-36 (7 December 1799); 46-49 (26 December); 49-53 (27 December); 54-57 (31 December).
(22) The Friends of Peace: Anti-War Liberalism in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).
(23) See, for example, EOT, I, 386 (4 November 1802).
(24) L. G. Mitchell, Charles James Fox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 172-74.
(25) CL, II, 922 (10 February 1803), 924 (15 February).
(26) Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Malta and Italy (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1969), pp. 1-49.
(27) For an account of the original, see Sir Travers Twiss, Leibnitz's Memoir upon Egypt (London: Pewtress, 1883).
(28) Gentleman's Magazine, 73 (1803), 943-48; Sultana, pp. 77, 171.
(29) A Summary Account of Leibnitz's Memoir (London: Hatchard, 1803), p. xi.
(30) The Four Georges and The English Humorists (Stroud: Sutton, 1995), pp. 79, 81.
(31) Edward Said, Orientalism, 2nd edn (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1995), and Nigel Leask, British Romantic Writers and the East: Anxieties of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
(32) Quoted in Table Talk, ed. by Carl Woodring, 2 vols (London and Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), I, xlv.
(33) See Roland Barthes on stereotypes in Pleasure of the Text, trans. by Richard Miller (New York: Noonday Press, 1975), pp. 42-43.
(34) EOT, II, 71, 73, 76 (21 December 1809), 84 (22 December 1809).
(35) Friend, II, 62-63, n. (I, 84-85), 208 n. (I, 262.)
(36) SWF, I, 373 and LS, pp. 102-03.
(37) CN, III, 4357 (August 1817) and Friend, I, 475 and n. 2.
(38) CM, II, 348 (1818?); 'The first Error (or original Sin) of the shaping life-force'.
(39) CL, IV, 575 (30 May 1815).
(40) The discussion of Voltaire, Diderot, and Helvetius in The Stateman's Manual ends in a complaint about the 'French nature of rapacity, levity, ferocity, and presumption' (LS, p. 77).
(41) CM, I, 6 (1810-12?), 148 (1817-18).
(42) Friend, I, 422 n. (for earlier versions see: CN, III, 3738; CL, IV, 666-67; SWF, I, 435-36). This is Coleridge's obdurate contribution to the post-war debate about the state of France, newly reopened to foreign visitors. Helen Maria Williams's account of Napoleon's Hundred Days (1815), Lady Morgan's France (1817), and Shelley's Tour (1817) are among those which take a more liberal view.
(43) Friend, II, 322-25, (I, 290-96).
(44) LS, p. 102; also CM, III, 677 (1816-23?).
(45) Friend, II, 126-33, (I, 191-202).
(46) CN, II, 2223 (October 1804).
(47) EOT, II, 38 (7 December 1809); CM, III, 884 (1808); LS, p. 102.
(48) 'Joubert', in Works, III, 183-211 (p. 189).
This research has been made possible by a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship offered by the British Academy, which support I gratefully acknowledge.
<ADD> MICHAEL JOHN KOOY CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, OXFORD </ADD>
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Kooy, Michael John|
|Publication:||The Modern Language Review|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
|Previous Article:||'Our drooping country now erects her head: Nahum Tate's History of King Lear.|
|Next Article:||'Beyond' George Eliot? Reconsidering Edith Wharton.|