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Morbid fear of anything French
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References in periodicals archive ?
Here the ruling elite is seen (as in Cottrell's account) disseminating francophobic propaganda in order to protect the elite hegemony: for Pitt, containing France abroad and quelling dissent at home were inseparable policies pursued with equal vigour.
One weakness in this approach (and it is evident in Newman's article on anti-French propaganda) is the tendency to represent this as a gain, as if basing the middle-class moral agenda upon a francophobic platform had been a judicious decision, which was repaid later in the century by certain liberal conquests.
His stand in these years until mid-1802 was publicly anti-ministerial in a way it never was again, and though his views were hardly pro-French, like those of the 'genius' Fox, or his friend Thelwall, it was not francophobic either.
Yet the francophobic rhetoric introduced around this time seems more of a deliberate strategy than a symptom of prejudice.
(24) At this stage, at least, the francophobic elements in Coleridge's journalism were contrived and exaggerated, brought in especially for the occasion of shocking liberal opinion during peacetime.
This had often occurred earlier in a public context, but now for the first time francophobic remarks appeared in the privacy of the notebooks:
Unlike the francophobic gestures in the Morning Post, which helped defend a new editorial position in the context of a political debate, Coleridge's notebook complaints in Malta were unconnected to either an argument or an audience.
A standard motif of innumerable invasion-of-England narratives, this scenario is at work as well in the crudely Francophobic How John Bull Lost London; or, The Capture of the Channel Tunnel (1882), in which the narrator bemoans the susceptibility to French invasion that has come about because of"the vast quantity of ground which the British fleet had to cover."(15) Kipling would allude to just such a vitiation of Britain's naval power in the admonitory poem "Recessional" (1897), his renowned warning of Britain's tenuous hold--both spiritual and martial--on its sprawling empire: "Far-called, our navies melt away."(16)
Beside this francophobic fiction we need to place also that great cresting wave of Gothic fiction to which I have already alluded.