Fuentes de Oñoro 1811: Wellington’s liberation of Portugal by René Chartrand

By René Chartrand

In October 1810 the Allied place in Portugal seemed precarious. regardless of defeating Marshal Masséna's French military at Bussaco, Wellington have been pressured to retreat to inside a couple of miles of Lisbon. the following the French encountered a big line of fortifications stretching from the River Tagus to the ocean. equipped amid nice secrecy and on Wellington's particular orders, those strains of Torres Vedras have been the French high-water mark. In February, together with his military close to hunger, Masséna used to be pressured to retreat and the scene was once set for the climactic motion of Fuentes de Oñoro.

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Additional resources for Fuentes de Oñoro 1811: Wellington’s liberation of Portugal (Campaign, Volume 99)

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In chapter 7, I consider June Jordan’s contribution to bridging African American struggle and war resistance, emerging out of the Black Arts and feminist movements of the 1970s. I analyze Jordan’s stance of “righteous certainty”—a performative pose she adopts in order to claim her own authority to talk back to power. Righteous certainty emerges from Jordan’s struggle against personal and social violence, and thus enables a revaluation of the Yeatsian lyric’s self-oppositionality. In addition to focusing on her involvement in war resistance—through her column in the Progressive, her course “Poetry for the People,” and her readings against the war—I read Jordan’s “The Bombing of Baghdad” as a powerful chant poem that harnesses the lyric as an oppositional and documentary form and invites a transnational progressive audience to identify their own struggles with the struggles of Iraqis.

Even so, Peck— along with most of the others—gradually warmed to this abstract, shabby ‘man of God’; he may not have been their kind of protesting pacifist, but he was manifestly not a fraud” (93). In contrast, Peck acknowledges that though one might think that COs might be united by common goals, “the individualistic COs at Danbury found it almost impossible to agree on any common action to support their cause” (38). Yet, Lowell’s declining to participate in the strike against segregation, and his concomitant silence about it in his “Memories,” are a stark reminder about the epistemological limits—and potential dangers—of “getting the news” from canonized texts.

First, the resisters’ reasons for refusing to serve emerge from different circumstances: Lowell’s Just War principles, Naeve’s anarchism, and Peck’s anti-imperialism. Second, Naeve’s and Peck’s depictions of West Street Jail and Danbury Prison, where all three served the tenure of their sentences, corroborate the physical details of Lowell’s poem; Lowell’s documentary style, however, offers the ruse of realism. Third, all three accounts describe the shocked submission that accompanied the early phase of internment; if Lowell’s seems to linger in its numbed gaze, we must remember that the poem itself sets out only to consider West Street.

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