The Cambridge companion to British literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s /

"The French Revolution ignited the biggest debate on politics and society in Britain since the Civil War 150 years earlier. The public controversy lasted from the initial, positive reaction to French events in 1789 to the outlawing of the radical societies in 1799. This Cambridge Companion high...

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Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Clemit, Pamela.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

For a long time, the political writings of the 1790s got no respect from literary critics; only Edmund Burke attracted scholarly scrutiny. Things began to change in the 1970s, when Mary Wollstonecraft took her place in the history of feminist thought. Since then, the era has become central to the work of both 18th-century critics and Romanticists. Clemit (Durham Univ., UK) made the unusual choice of organizing a book on English literature around an event in French history, and the essays she gathered explore the quarrels between radicals and conservatives in Britain. Thirteen distinguished international critics survey the latest thinking on this increasingly important decade. Burke, Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and William Godwin dominate the first half of the book; the second half includes one chapter each on radical and conservative works in popular culture, women writers, novels, plays, and poems. The attention is on political writing; Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads, probably the most important English book of the 1790s, is mentioned only once in passing. The contributors bring real expertise to their subjects and write with clarity. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. T. Lynch Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark

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