William Wordsworth, The Convention of Cintra

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The Convention of Cintra

is a prose tract by William Wordsworth, written between 1808 and 1809, on the subject of the Peninsular War. An extended essay on the moral and political imagination,


is a key document in Wordsworth’s development as a thinker and literary stylist, and in the larger Romantic engagement with the legacies of the French Revolution. The tract is clearly an attack on the handling of the war in Spain and Portugal by the British army and government. But its exact politics have proved notoriously difficult to decode. Wordsworth feared that its radical attitudes would revive “the old yell of Jacobinism” against him (

Middle Years

1: 312). Modern critics, however, have found in


evidence both of continued progressive radicalism and incipient Toryism.…

3142 words

Citation: Duggett, Tom. "The Convention of Cintra". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 June 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23231, accessed 22 June 2024.]

23231 The Convention of Cintra 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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