Mandeville (1817) is the second of William Godwin’s historical novels, and is set during the period of the English Commonwealth (1649–60). Readers at the time of its publication made comparisons with the ‘German school’ of novel writing, linking it with both the gothic and sturm-und-drang fictional modes. Modern critics have recognised it as a work exploring psychological and cultural trauma, the aftereffects of war on the generation that came after. Godwin cited Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland (1798) and Joanna Bailie’s De Monfort (1798) as major influences on the novel, and this essay will attempt to use these texts as a vector to explore the direction of Godwin’s ideas. Continue reading
Home » Items tagged with 'historical fiction'
Items tagged with 'historical fiction'
Article: The Romance of Commerce
Scott’s Waverley novels often turn on an opposition between romance—the realm of the unexpected, marvellous and heroic—and real life—the often disappointing realm of the mundane and factual. However, Rob Roy, offers readers no alternative to romance. Instead it is made up of different kinds of romance—namely the gothic and the adventure story or imperial romance. Scott maps the genre of the gothic onto Northumberland, where the remnants of feudalism still prevail, and wealth consists in landed property transmitted across generations. The adventure story, by contrast, links the Scottish Highlands with southern metropolitan Britain through a system of speculation and credit. Rob Roy reflects on Scott’s imbrication in these two systems at the time of the novel’s writing—a period of economic depression and rural depopulation—as he sold metropolitan readers another romanticised image of the Highlands in order to shore up his own landed property. Continue reading
I began reading Reinventing Liberty in the weeks leading up Britain’s Brexit vote in June 2016; the timing was uncanny. Price’s impressive monograph focuses on the concept of national identity as it relates to commerce … Continue reading
by Emma Butcher The blow is struck—the lyre is shattered–the music is hushed at length. The greatest—the most various–the most commanding genius of modern times has left us to seek for that successor to his … Continue reading
It’s not often that you get the chance to go to a conference which will involve a trip to the pier, a day spent at one of Wales’ national treasures, and introductions to several undeservedly-forgotten … Continue reading
Peveril of the Peak has never been regarded as one of Walter Scott’s greatest novels and its relative failure to achieve critical success is often attributed to the ‘over-production and money-spinning’ that many see as characteristic … Continue reading