Arthur Hugh Clough’s “Amours De Voyage”: A Poetic Account of the 1849 Siege of Rome

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Author: Cora Lindsay, School of Education, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Email: Cora.Lindsay@Nottingham.ac.uk
Published: December 8, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.si.03

Citation: Lindsay, C. (2017). Arthur Hugh Clough's “Amours De Voyage”: A Poetic Account of the 1849 Siege of Rome. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 4(si). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.4.si.03


Abstract

In this paper I talk about Arthur Hugh Clough’s epistolary poem Amours de Voyage, which describes Clough’s first-hand experience of the events of 1840s Europe, a time of uncertainty and rising nationalist agendas. Amours de Voyage was largely written during Clough’s stay in Rome from April to July 1849, the brief period in which the Roman Republic existed and the city was under siege from the French. The poem is an unusual, unromantic and bemused depiction of nationalistic conflict. By the time it was finally published in Britain in 1862, the Italian struggle for independence had become one of the most celebrated and romantic causes of the century. Clough, with his questioning turn of mind, was inherently wary of such emotional responses. This poem epitomises the detached and constructive scepticism with which Clough approached political and national manifestos, questioning blind certainties and often undermining the pomposity of fanaticism through humour.

Keywords

Sonderkommando, Arthur Hugh Clough, Risorgimento, 1849 Siege of Rome, Amours de Voyage