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Items tagged with 'novels'

Article: Canals, Commerce and the Construction of Nation

The interplay between commerce and sensibility has been well documented: commercial activity is celebrated in eighteenth-century sentimental rhetoric for its ability to incite civility, reform manners and promote virtue. In the same way, the transformative effects of commerce informed discourses of sympathy and national identity throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century and into the Romantic period. This article considers Sydney Owenson’s focus on commercial improvement in post-union Ireland in her 1814 novel O’Donnel: A National Tale. As Owenson developed her formal experimentations with the national tale, she made a series of revisions to the 1812 edition of St Clair (originally published in 1803) in which she echoes contemporary political discussions about Ireland’s potential for trade through the navigation of its waterways, suggesting an emerging interest in Irish commercial progress that would go on to influence her subsequent novels. O’Donnel appraises the value of English schemes for Irish improvement in the form of canals, aqueducts and road building within the context of Enlightenment models of historical progress and sympathy. In doing so, Owenson provides an extended critique of ascendancy schemes of improvement and of the role of geography in the formation of Irish national identity, revealing a profound anxiety about both the ideological ‘mapping’ of the Irish landscape in the post-union period and the formation of international communities based on sympathetic identification. Continue reading

Article: ‘She had recourse to her pen’

This article explores Elizabeth Hamilton’s response to the abuse of Jacobin radicalism in early nineteenth-century Britain. It situates Hamilton’s fictional representations of revolutionary principles and her outspoken caricatures of contemporary radicals in her three-volume Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800) within the trajectory of the gradual decline of radical voices from the mid-1790s onwards. This article demonstrates how new philosophical principles are presented in the novel as impractical and subversive in nature, as a way for Hamilton to show readers that these principles are dangerous and likely to be falsely adopted to destroy all fair domestic and public values. Ultimately, it argues for the discursive space Hamilton created to challenge and destabilise Jacobin radicalism, and also aims to shed light on the gendered conventions of public participation in the period. Continue reading

Article: Making Space for Wollstonecraft

In 1798, Mary Barker published her only known novel, A Welsh Story, which follows members of two Glamorganshire families through courtships to marriage and parenthood. Largely forgotten today, Barker was good friends with Robert Southey, collaborated with Wordsworth to publish Lines Addressed to a Noble Lord (1815) an attack on Byron and lived amongst the Lake Poets for much of the early nineteenth century. Reading A Welsh Story alongside Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) I argue here that Barker altered the form of Wales-related Romantic novels and utilised the radical potential which the imagined space of Wales offered her in order to create a fictionalised vision of Wollstonecraft’s depictions of, and idealistic hopes for, British society. Continue reading

Article: Domesticating Antiquarianism

The domestic is fundamental to any analysis of Bray’s work, as by domesticating public history and antiquarianism she was able to negotiate a path between maintaining her position as a proper lady and asserting her credentials as a published author/ historian. Historically, Bray’s writing career began at a time when there had been a shift in the basic epistemological structures of history from state politics to social and affective life, family matters. Moreover, Bray’s own family, father, brother and both her husbands were antiquarians, thus her research was presented as an extension of theirs. Finally, in 1822, Bray relocated from London to Devon, a geographical space on the margins of England, and one rich in history, legend and the traditions of ‘Old England’. Yet for Bray, home was a conflicted term representing both family home and homeland, England, which she saw as under threat of losing its identity to the newly created nation of Great Britain and Ireland. In this paper I examine how, through the microcosm of family and region, Bray set about producing an antiquarian record of the English landscape, customs and traditions: an English National Tale. Continue reading

Post: Victorian Legacies: Sir Walter Scott in Context

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

Report: Merely an Imitator?

In this report, I want to float what I consider to be a distinct possibility: that Ann Radcliffe did not cease publication after The Italian (1797), but published two anonymous novels for the circulating library … Continue reading

Article: ‘The Gothic Novel in Wales’ Revisited

I James Henderson’s article ‘The Gothic Novel in Wales (1790–1820)’ provides a useful starting point for a study of Wales-related fiction of the romantic period. [1] Examining the extent to which Wales was used as … Continue reading

Article: High and Low

This paper examines the turn of the eighteenth century, when the dichotomy between books as products and books as artistic outputs emerged and deals with three different components: novels, circulating libraries, and readers. The aim of the paper is to draw attention to some of the underlying factors that conditioned that split between high and low which came about at this time and also to pinpoint some of the actors that were involved in this process, focused in particular on the works of August Lafontaine and the translation of his works into Swedish. Continue reading

Report: The English Novel, 1800–1829: Update 1 (April 2000–May 2001)

This project report relates to The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey Published in the British Isles, edd. Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, 2 vols. (Oxford: OUP, 2000). In particular, it offers fresh … Continue reading

Report: The English Novel, 1800–1829: Update 2 (June 2001–May 2002)

This project report relates to The English Novel, 1770-1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles, general editors Peter Garside, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, 2 vols (Oxford: OUP, 2000). In … Continue reading

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