The Darkling Thrush Historical Context

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When Hardy wrote "The Darkling Thrush" in 1900, the British Empire had expanded to include almost 4 million square miles. England controlled a sizeable portion of the world's land, including India, large swaths of Africa and China, Australia, and Canada. Some were outright colonies; others held "dominion" status. Poems of the Past and the Present (1901), which includes "The Darkling Thrush," also contains many poems expressing Hardy's dismay with British imperialism. Poems in the section "War Poems," for example, deal primarily with the Boer War. In 1899, the British High Commissioner of Cape Colony in South Africa, Alfred Milner, schemed to gain power of the gold mines in the Dutch Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, precipitating a war with the Boers. More than a half million British soldiers fought in the war and tens of thousands were killed before the war ended in...

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This section contains 593 words
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Buy The Darkling Thrush Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Darkling Thrush from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.