John Thelwall pp 175-210 | Cite as

Songs of Love

Part of the Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters book series (19CMLL)


The most surprising discovery of the Derby MS, given Thelwall’s reputation as an unyielding radical, is the prominence it gives to love poetry: anacreontics, paphiades, and amatory odes of a frankly erotic nature. In this as in so much else, Thelwall forces one to reexamine received ideas and recognize the extent to which passion and politics are intimately connected in his work, and in the age.1 Many of these love poems suggest that Thelwall’s response to patriarchal tyranny and brotherly betrayal was to embrace daughters of Albion, turning seditious to seductive allegory at the turn of a new century. He revives the pastoral motifs and anacreontic themes of his youth, in a more melodic form.


Lyrical Poetry Anxious Care Love Poem Conjugal Love Rapid Flight 
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© Judith Thompson 2015

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