Henry Crabb Robinson, Ernst Moritz Arndt, and William Wordsworth’s Convention of Cintra
Keywords:English romanticism, German philosophy, Napoleonic Wars, Spain, Scandinavia
The various meritsof Henry Crabb Robinson (1775–1867) havebegun to emerge more fully in recent years. After studying at the University of Jena (1802–1805) and becoming a pioneering philosophical and literary disseminator between Britain and Germany, Robinson had two spells as a war correspondent for The Times – in Danish Altona in 1807 and Corunna in 1808–1809. This article discusses, for the first time, his long-neglected review of William Wordsworth’s Convention of Cintra (both published in 1809) against the backdrop of Robinson’sprofound understandingof German philosophy and first-hand experience of the NapoleonicWars. I argue that the ethical and cosmopolitan elements that Robinson found in the work of Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860), whom he had met in Stockholm in 1807, match the critical principles underpinning Robinson’s activity as a cross-cultural literary disseminator, and that he applied these principles in his review of Wordsworth’s pamphlet. These principles gain significance in the light of the present ‘ethical turn’ in romantic studies.
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Copyright: The authors and Aarhus University Press