Journal Article

Passion for Empire: War Poetry Published in the Canadian English Protestant Press During the South African War, 1899 – 1902

Gordon L. Heath

in Literature and Theology

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 127-147
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/16.2.127
Passion for Empire: War Poetry Published in the Canadian English Protestant Press During the South African War, 1899 – 1902

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In the years 1899–1902, Canada sent over 7000 troops to fight alongside British and imperial troops in South Africa against the two Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. This article will explore the imperial sentiment in the Canadian English Protestant churches through a look at the poems published in their various publications during the war years. It will note the origins of much of the poetry, identify the amount of poetry that was published, as well as outline some of the larger themes of the war poetry. These poems indicate that imperial sentiment was, in fact, quite widespread within the members of the English Protestant churches. They also indicate that the ‘type’ of nation that the churches were trying to build cannot be understood apart from its imperial sentiments.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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