1798: The Year of the Lyrical Ballads by Richard Cronin

February 23, 2017 | Gothic Romance | By admin | 0 Comments

By Richard Cronin

1798 is an important date in literary background: in that 12 months the Lyrical Ballads have been released anonymously by way of Joseph Cottle, the Bristol bookseller. yet it is a quantity now not concerning the Lyrical Ballads , yet approximately their yr. it really is an try to re-create and look at the literary tradition of 1798, the tradition on which Wordsworth and Coleridge determined to make their 'experiment'. it's a booklet within which Wordsworth and Coleridge vie for cognizance, as they did in 1798, with many different writers, together with Schleiermacher, John Thelwall, Mary Hays, the Abbe Barruel, Walter Savage Landor, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Malthus, Joanna Baillie, George Canning, Robert Sothey and the Reverend T.J. Mathias. The chapters of this e-book interact to outline a unmarried old second that marked the start of romanticism in England.

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As Aldis recognized, Godwin supplies details 'of which her traducers have gladly availed themselves, in order to bring general discredit on her memory, as the most effectual mode of counteracting the effect of her labours' (56 (Letter V». More than this, Godwin presents Wollstonecraft's enemies, not just with the material, but with the very method - that of reducing 'theory' to 'practice' - by which she is to be anathematized. In the Sexing the Critic 41 Memoirs, 'philosophy' is seen to be exposed and exploded by 'life'; and the critical response takes a malicious delight in putting jacobin 'ideas' on a 'practical' footing.

22 Clifford Siskin enough - it didn't always quite fit. This is the experience of form we now call the System. Our characteristic reactions to it - which are what define it for us - consist of various combinations of the responses inscribed by Godwin. Well before he treats the specific negatives of Malthus's revised code, he asserts: 'The main and direct moral and lesson of the Essay on Population is passiveness' (144). That passivity could both carry 'accents of despair' and erupt into the activity that Godwin himself pursued: blame.

Samplings from the start of the century (1700-3 to 9) and the middle (1750 - 11 to 59) confirm the significantly higher frequency of essays. The counts only begin to close in the 1780s, moving above 2 to 3 (40 to 57) by 1798, and, in 1799, actually tilting toward system (54 to 53). ESTC, then, points to the rise of system to parity (and better) with essay by the century's close. To get a rough idea of the trend after 1800, I turned to counts from the Harvard Union Catalogue through the Hollis system.

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