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Romanticism, Revolution and Language: The Fate of the Word from Samuel Johnson to George Eliot

Overview

The repercussions of the French Revolution included erosion of many previously held certainties in Britain, as in the rest of Europe. Even the authority of language as a cornerstone of knowledge was called into question and the founding principles of intellectual disciplines challenged, as Romantic writers developed new ways of expressing their philosophy of the imagination and the human heart. This book traces the impact of revolution on language, from William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William ...

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Romanticism, Revolution and Language: The Fate of the Word from Samuel Johnson to George Eliot

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Overview

The repercussions of the French Revolution included erosion of many previously held certainties in Britain, as in the rest of Europe. Even the authority of language as a cornerstone of knowledge was called into question and the founding principles of intellectual disciplines challenged, as Romantic writers developed new ways of expressing their philosophy of the imagination and the human heart. This book traces the impact of revolution on language, from William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, to William Hazlitt, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. A leading scholar in Romantic literature and theology, John Beer offers a persuasive new account of post-revolutionary continuities between the major Romantic writers and their Victorian successors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107412620
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/2013
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

John Beer is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Cambridge and Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse.

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Table of Contents

1. 'Democracy' in Somerset and beyond; 2. Politics, sensibility and the adequacy of language; 3. The heart of Lyrical Ballads; 4. The Prelude: a poem in process; 5. Words or images? Blake's representation of history; 6. Blake, Coleridge, and 'The Riddle of the World'; 7. Challenges from the non-verbal and return to the word; 8. The nature of Hazlitt's taste; 9. Jane Austen's progress; 10. Languages of memory and passion: Tennyson, Gaskell and the Bront√ęs; 11. George Eliot and the future of language; Index.

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