Intertextual War: Edmund Burke and the French Revolution in the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and James Mackintosh

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On 1 November 1790 Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France precipitated a debate over the French Revolution that has continued for two centuries. Burke's Reflections provoked hundreds of replies, igniting a huge intertextual war. In this study, the author focuses on the three works that continue to be cited in criticism of Burke: Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Men, Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, and James Mackintosh's Vindiciae Gallicae. These writers established the anti-Burke ...
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Overview

On 1 November 1790 Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France precipitated a debate over the French Revolution that has continued for two centuries. Burke's Reflections provoked hundreds of replies, igniting a huge intertextual war. In this study, the author focuses on the three works that continue to be cited in criticism of Burke: Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Men, Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, and James Mackintosh's Vindiciae Gallicae. These writers established the anti-Burke paradigms that continue to reverberate in Anglo-American criticism and the Revolution's historiography. To understand the significance of what they contend is being revealed is to begin to see what is being obscured - striking resemblances between themselves and the enemy they denounce. By dealing with thematic, paradoxical similarities and resemblances, the author begins to redress what has been a scholarly imbalance. Concentrating on resemblances and similarities rather than the conventional distinctions and differences, his focus is on an often obscured view that needs to be incorporated into this discussion. Analyzing how Burke's respondents are profoundly implicated in the "tradition" they rebel against, he argues that this raises fundamental questions about the discourse of difference by which critics conventionally discuss Burke and his revolutionary adversaries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838637517
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Pages: 256

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Abbreviations 11
Introduction 15
1 Hic mulier, Haec vir: Wollstonecraft's Feminization of Burke in The Rights of Men 26
2 Intertextual War: Wollstonecraft and the Language of Burke's Enquiry 40
3 Reflected Resemblances: Wollstonecraft's Representation of Burke in The Rights of Men 62
4 Paine and the Myth of Burke's Secret Pension 84
5 Paine's Revolutionary Comedy: The Bastille and October Days in the Rights of Man 96
6 Revolution and the Canon: Paine's Critique of the Old Linguistic Order and the Creation of the Revolutionary Writer 108
7 Mackintosh, Burke, and the French Revolution 124
8 Mackintosh, Burke, and the Glorious Revolution 136
9 Revolution in Property 160
10 Revolution in Representation: Electoral and Economic Paradigms in Vindiciae Gallicae 178
Conclusion 209
Appendix Paine's Letter to Burke 215
Notes 217
Works Cited 243
Index 252
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