History

Seditious Allegories | ,

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The multifaceted career of John Thelwall (1764-1834)—poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, politician, scientist—is the lens through which we are offered here a new look at the phenomenon of British Jacobinism, long distorted by the critical view of it as intellectually weak bequeathed to us by Coleridge and Wordsworth, once Jacobins themselves. This book, the first on Thelwall in almost one hundred years, combines literary analysis and historical description to show how this innovative political activist remained true to his radicalism while adapting his methods in the face of the anti-Jacobin reaction that Paine's The Rights of Man helped set off. The three parts of the book set Thelwall's achievements and challenges in the political and literary context of his times. Part One, "Jacobin(s) Writing," focuses on the most essential aspects, ideologically and formally, of the insurgent writing of the 1790s to which Thelwall contributed. Part Two, "The Voice of the People," treats both Thelwall's radical oratory and journalism, as well as his writings and activities as a natural scientist and rhetorician, a professor and technician of "elocution." Part Three, "Jacobin Allegory," expounds on Thelwall's characteristic strategy of indirect expression through synecdoche and allegory, which he used in his later career after repression forced him out of politics. Through Thelwall's life Michael Scrivener succeeds in revealing how British Jacobinism reshaped the public sphere, initiating numerous literary experiments with oratory, pamphlets, periodicals, popularizations, and songs in the spaces opened up by political associations, lectures, meetings, and trials. Jacobinism thus altered the very institutions of reading and writing by expanding literacy, restructuring the popular arena for reading, and generating a body of diverse texts that were "seditious allegories.".

Fiction

Conversion and Reform in the British Novel in the 1790s | A. Markley

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Conversion and Reform analyzes the work of those British reformists writing in the 1790s who reshaped the conventions of fiction to reposition the novel as a progressive political tool. Includes new readings of key figures such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Holcroft..

Social Science

The Cosmopolitan Ideal | Michael Scrivener

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Examines the new internationalism which emerged in Europe during the Enlightenment. This is the study of cosmopolitanism, which takes into account feminist and post-colonial critiques of the Enlightenment. It also offers cosmopolitanism as a solution to contemporary struggles to reach a post-national political identity..

Political Science

Sedition in Liberal Democracies | Anushka Singh

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Examining the relationship between sedition and liberal democracies, particularly in India, this book looks at the biography of sedition laws, its contradictory position against free speech, and democratic ethics. Recent sedition cases registered in India show that the law in its wide and diverse deployment was used against agitators in a community-based pro-reservation movement, group of university students for their alleged ‘anti-national’ statements, anti-liquor activists, and anti-nuclear movement, to name a few. Set against its contemporary use, this book has used sedition as a lens to probe the fate of political speech in liberal democracy. The lived reality of the law of sedition in changing anthropological sites is juxtaposed with its positivist existence. Anushka Singh uses a comparative framework keeping in focus the Indian experience backed by fieldwork in Haryana, Maharashtra, and Delhi, and includes a comparative perspective from England, the USA, and Australia to contribute to debates on sedition within liberal democracies at large, especially in the wake of the proliferation of counter-terror legislations..

Literary Criticism

John Thelwall in the Wordsworth Circle | J. Thompson

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In this book, Judith Thompson restores a powerful but long-suppressed voice to our understanding of British Romanticism. Drawing on newly discovered archives, this book offers the first full-length study of the poetry of John Thelwallas well as his partnership with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth..

Literary Criticism

Literary Manuscript Culture in Romantic Britain | Levy Michelle Levy

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Literary Manuscript Culture in Romantic Britain - Levy Michelle Levy Preview:

A study of the production and circulation of literary manuscripts in Romantic-era BritainOffers a detailed examination of the practices of literary manuscript culture, particularly the production, circulation and preservation of manuscripts, based on extensive archival researchDemonstrates how literary manuscript culture co-evolved with print culture, in a nuanced study of the interactions between the two mediaExamines the changing cultural attitudes towards literary manuscripts, and how these changes affected practices and valuesSurveys the impact of digital media on our access to and understanding of historical manuscriptsThis book examines how manuscript practices interacted with an expanding print marketplace to nurture and transform the period's literary culture. It unearths the alternative histories manuscripts tell us about British Romantic literary culture, describing the practices by which handwritten documents were written, shared, altered and preserved, and explores the functions they served as instruments of expression and sociability. By demonstrating how literary manuscript culture co-evolved with print culture, this study illuminates the complex entanglements between the media of script and print..

Literary Criticism

The Romantic Literary Lecture in Britain | Sarah Zimmerman

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At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the literary lecture arrived on London's cultural scene as an influential critical medium and popular social event. It flourished for two decades in the hands of the period's most prominent lecturers: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Thelwall, Thomas Campbell, and William Hazlitt. Lecturers aimed to shape auditors' reading habits, burnish their own professional profiles, and establish a literary canon. Auditors wielded their own considerable influence, since their sustained approbation was necessary to a lecturer's success, and independent series could collapse midway if attendance waned. Two chapters are therefore devoted to the auditors, whose creative responses to what they heard often constituted cultural works in their own right. Auditors wrote poems and letters about lecture performances, acted as patrons to lecturers, and hosted dinners and conversation parties that followed these events. Prominent auditors included John Keats, Mary Russell Mitford, Henry Crabb Robinson, Catherine Maria Fanshawe, and Lady Charlotte Bury. The Romantic public literary lecture is a fascinating cultural phenomenon in its own right, but understanding the medium has significant implications for some of the period's most important literary criticism, such as Coleridge's readings of Shakespeare and Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets (1818). The book's two main aims are to chart the emergence of the literary lecture as a popular medium and to develop a critical approach to these events by drawing on an interdisciplinary discussion about how to treat historical speaking performances..

Literary Criticism

The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism | David Duff

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The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism offers a comprehensive guide to the literature and thought of the Romantic period, and an overview of the latest research on this topic. Written by a team of international experts, the Handbook analyses all aspects of the Romantic movement, pinpointing its different historical phases and analysing the intellectual and political currents which shaped them. It gives particular attention to devolutionary trends, exploring the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish strands in 'British' Romanticism and assessing the impact of the constitutional changes that brought into being the 'United Kingdom' at a time of revolutionary turbulence and international conflict. It also gives extensive coverage to the publishing and reception history of Romantic writing, highlighting the role of readers, reviewers, publishers, and institutions in shaping Romantic literary culture and transmitting its ideas and values. Divided into ten sections, each containing four or five chapters, the Handbook covers key themes and concepts in Romantic studies as well as less chartered topics such as freedom of speech, literature and drugs, Romantic oratory, and literary uses of dialect. All the major male and female Romantic authors are included along with numerous lesser-known writers, the emphasis throughout being on the diversity of Romantic writing and the complexities and internal divisions of the culture that sustained it. The volume strikes a balance between familiarity and novelty to provide an accessible guide to current thinking and a conceptual reorganization of this fast-moving field..

Literary Collections

Spheres of Action | Alexander Dick,Angela Esterhammer

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With contributions from leading Romanticist scholars who draw on literary history, performance studies, philosophy, linguistics, and anthropology, Spheres of Action examines the significant intersections between language and performance during the Romantic period. These essays consider cultural phenomena such as elocution and political oratory, newspaper journalism, public mourning, the function of gesture and clothing in theatre - even a long-distance walking contest. They examine the problematic relationships among action, agency, and language in a variety of cultural institutions and media from the era. Exploring aspects of public speaking and body language, these essays propose that understanding the culture and institutions of the Romantic period requires nuanced approaches to performance and agency. The collection also studies the ways in which the Romantics discovered both the potency and limitations of performativity. Presenting a boldly multifaceted portrait of Romantic culture, Spheres of Action is essential reading for Romanticists, historians, and scholars with interests in language and performance..

Fiction

The Daughter of Adoption | John Thelwall

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John Thelwall’s The Daughter of Adoption: A Tale of Modern Times is a witty and wide-ranging work in which the picaresque and sentimental novel of the eighteenth century confronts the revolutionary ideas and forms of the Romantic period. Thelwall puts his two main characters, the conflicted English gentleman Henry Montfort and the Creole Seraphina Parkinson, through their paces in a slave rebellion in Haiti, where they barely escape with their lives, and in London society, where Henry almost loses his soul. Combining political analysis with melodrama and flat-out farce, Daughter expands the scope of the abolitionist novel, pushing the argument beyond the slave trade to challenge empire and racial superiority. Historical materials on Thelwall’s life, the abolitionist movement, and eighteenth-century educational theories provide a detailed context for the novel..

Literary Criticism

John Thelwall | J. Thompson

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Drawing on newly-discovered manuscripts, this collection is the first modern edition of poetry by John Thelwall, the famed radical Romantic and champion of the working class. Eight key essays and 125 fully-annotated poems introduce his work in correspondence with historical traditions and current critical paradigms..

History

John Thelwall: Radical Romantic and Acquitted Felon | Steve Poole

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John Thelwall was a Romantic and Enlightenment polymath. In 1794 he was tried and acquitted of high treason, earning himself the disdainful soubriquet 'acquitted felon' from Secretary of State for War, William Windham. Later, Thelwall's interests turned to poetry and plays, and was a collaborator and confidant of Wordsworth and Coleridge..

History

United Islands? The Languages of Resistance | John Kirk

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This is the first title in a new series called Poetry and Song in the Age of Revolution. This series will appeal to those involved in English literary studies, as well as those working in fields of study that cover Enlightenment, Romanticism and Revolution in the last quarter of the eighteenth century..

Literary Criticism

Eighteenth-Century Vitalism | C. Packham

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This book offers an important account of the relationship between science and culture in the eighteenth century. It examines the 'vitalist' turn in physiology and natural philosophy, and its presence and effect in the burgeoning of philosophical and scientific inquiry of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the radical politics and culture of the 1790s..

Literary Criticism

Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period | Alex Benchimol

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Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period maps the intellectual formation of English plebeian radicalism and Scottish philosophic Whiggism over the long eighteenth century and examines their associated strategies of critical engagement with the cultural, social and political crises of the early nineteenth century. It is a story of the making of a wider British public sphere out of the agendas and discourses of the radical and liberal publics that both shaped and responded to them. When juxtaposed, these competing intellectual formations illustrate two important expressions of cultural politics in the Romantic period, as well as the peculiar overlapping of national cultural histories that contributed to the ideological conflict over the public meaning of Britain's industrial modernity. Alex Benchimol's study provides an original contribution to recent scholarship in Romantic period studies centred around the public sphere, recovering the contemporary debates and national cultural histories that together made up a significant part of the ideological landscape of the British public sphere in the early nineteenth century..

Literary Criticism

John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination | Yasmin Solomonescu

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John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination reassesses Thelwall's eclectic body of work from the perspective of his heterodox materialist arguments about the imagination, political reform, and the principle of life itself, and his contributions to Romantic-era science..

History

Fair Philosopher | Lynn Marie Wright,Donald J. Newman

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Fair Philosopher - Lynn Marie Wright,Donald J. Newman Preview:

"Fair Philosopher, the first sustained scholarly study of The Female Spectator, brings together an impressive collection of established and upcoming Haywood scholars who challenge much of the received opinion about this groundbreaking journal. Several of the essays show that Haywood's periodical was far more political than is generally thought, that its connections to her career as a novelist are more intimate than has been recognized, and that The Spectator was a target as well as a model. This collection makes a convincing argument that Haywood's periodical deserves far more critical attention than it has received so far and suggests new lines of development for future Haywood scholarship."--Publisher's website..

Literary Criticism

Poetics of the Pillory | Thomas Keymer

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On the lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695, Thomas Macaulay wrote in his History of England, 'English literature was emancipated, and emancipated for ever, from the control of the government'. It's certainly true that the system of prior restraint enshrined in this Restoration measure was now at an end, at least for print. Yet the same cannot be said of government control, which came to operate instead by means of post-publication retribution, not pre-publication licensing, notably for the common-law offence of seditious libel. For many of the authors affected, from Defoe to Cobbett, this new regime was a greater constraint on expression than the old, not least for its alarming unpredictability, and for the spectacular punishment—the pillory—that was sometimes entailed. Yet we may also see the constraint as an energizing force. Throughout the eighteenth century and into the Romantic period, writers developed and refined ingenious techniques for communicating dissident or otherwise contentious meanings while rendering the meanings deniable. As a work of both history and criticism, this book traces the rise and fall of seditious libel prosecution, and with it the theatre of the pillory, while arguing that the period's characteristic forms of literary complexity—ambiguity, ellipsis, indirection, irony—may be traced to the persistence of censorship in the post-licensing world. The argument proceeds through case studies of major poets and prose writers including Dryden, Defoe, Pope, Fielding, Johnson, and Southey, and also calls attention to numerous little-known satires and libels across the extended period..

Literary Criticism

Wordsworth and Coleridge | Nicholas Roe

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This study is a much-needed reappraisal of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's radical careers before their emergence as major poets. Dr Roe presents a detailed examination of both writers' debts to radical dissent in the years before 1789. Wordsworth's first-hand experience of Revolution in France is treated in depth, and both Wordsworth's and Coleridge's relations with William Godwin and John Thelwall are clarified. In each case the poets are shown to have been vividly alive to radical issues in Britain and France, and much more closely involved with the popular reform movement represented by the London Corresponding Society than has hitherto been suspected. The author argues against any generalized pattern of withdrawal from politics into retirement after 1795. He offers instead a reading of Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, and The Recluse that emphasizes the integration of imaginative life and radical experience. For Coleridge the loss of revolutionary idealism prefigured the collapse of his creative and personal life after 1798. For Wordsworth, on the other hand, revolutionary failure was the key to his emergence as poet of Tintern Abbey and The Prelude..

History

Henry Redhead Yorke, Colonial Radical | Amanda Goodrich

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Henry Redhead Yorke, Colonial Radical - Amanda Goodrich Preview:

This is a political, cultural and intellectual biography of the neglected but important figure, Henry Redhead Yorke. A West Indian of African/British descent, born into a slave society but educated in Georgian England, he developed a complex identity to which politics was key. The most revolutionary radical in Britain between 1793-5, Yorke then recanted his radicalism and died a loyalist gentleman. This book raises important issues about the impact of "outsider" politics in England and the complexities of politicization and identity construction in the Atlantic World. It restores a forgotten black writer to his due place in history..