Article on 18C literary views of soldiers

Parkes, Simon. “Wooden Legs and Tales of Sorrow Done: The Literary Broken Soldier of the Late Eighteenth Century.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (online 15 June 2012).

Abstract: The literary character of the Broken Soldier is a cathartic presence in much eighteenth-century writing. In works by authors such as Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Mackenzie and Robert Bage we find the figure of the Broken Soldier as the smashed recipient of society’s self-conscious benevolence. He is a sacrificial figure deflecting the realities of conflict and violence from the home front via his play-acting and sanctioned tales. The horrors of war that seep back into society are diffused by encounters with the Broken Soldier, allowing echoes of violence to be contained within these literary texts and broken bodies.

Literary scholars of the 18C sure have been active of late, analyzing portrayals of military men in literature.

[Anybody know how we’re supposed to cite these ‘early view’ journal articles? Should we privilege the print version when it comes out?]


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