Crisis of literature 1790s by Paul Keen

By Paul Keen

This publication bargains an unique learn of debates that arose within the 1790s in regards to the nature and social function of literature and the recent type of readers produced via the revolution in details and literacy in eighteenth-century England. the 1st half concentrates at the dominant arguments in regards to the position of literature and the prestige of the writer; the second one shifts its concentration to the debates approximately working-class activists and radical girls authors, and examines the expansion of a Romantic ideology inside this context of political and cultural turmoil.

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32 Adopting such an approach encourages us to extend the range of our critical focus to include ‘non-literary’ genres. e. canonical poetry) more interesting because it invites an approach which focuses our attention on self-representational strategies whose polemical force the texts themselves might encourage us to overlook. THE MAKING OF ENGLISH STUDIES An important part of the current challenge to entrenched assumptions about the study of English Literature necessarily involves addressing the question of the nature of the social spaces that we occupy as we engage with these issues.

Free of the influence of such an institution, the Analytical Review suggested, ‘the solitary student . . views things on a grander scale, and addresses his sentiments to a wider theatre: to all civilized and refined nations! 1 Not everyone shared this opinion. 2 Those who agreed with D’Israeli insisted that such an academy would stand as a monument to the advanced state of British civilization, and would encourage the exertions of authors by the powers of public recognition which it would be able to bestow upon them.

Properly educated, even the most hardened criminal would recognize that his true interests lay in obeying the laws of his society. 21 William Wordsworth’s and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s emphasis on the capacity of reading to make us more fully human through the exercise of the imagination finds its Enlightenment antecedent in the stress on education as a basis of individual and social reform. By fusing personal virtue and political liberty in a single redemptive process, reformers were able to counter the conservative argument that genuine political reform was impossible without a prior reform in the character of the people themselves.

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