Enter the Press-gang: Naval Impressment in Eighteenth-century British Literature (Google eBook)

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University of Delaware Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 219 pages
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"Even as press-gangs roamed the London streets, eighteenth-century writers applauded, critiqued, and condemned the practice Pepys called "a great tyranny" - the means of naval recruitment by which Britain simultaneously manned her fleets and oppressed her citizens." "This book centers on literature produced in "moments of crisis" - times when Britain faced a military challenge and thus needed her Navy most. When the French gained the upper hand early in the Seven Years' War, David Garrick was moved to write "To honour we call you, not press you like slaves, / For who are so free as we sons of the waves?" This characterization of the press as benign was common in the theater, even as sailors brawled with press-gangs on London Bridge. At the same time, novelists bitterly attacked impressment policy, showing how the press weighs most heavily on the poor."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Textual Note
11
Introduction
15
Naval Impressment History Practice Representation
25
PressGangs and the EighteenthCentury British Novel
45
Impressment and the London Stage
77
A Narrative of the Sufferings Impressment and Autobiography
109
The Cursed Gang Ballads of Impressment
144
Conclusion
170
Notes
173
Works Cited
205
Index
215
Copyright

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Page 6 - No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned. . . . A man in jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.
Page 6 - (1759) Come, cheer up, my lads! Tis to glory we steer, To add something more to this wonderful year; To honor we call you, not press you like slaves, For who are so free as the sons of the waves?

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