Space and the Eighteenth-Century English Novel

Overview

In this challenging and original study, Simon Varey relates the idea of space in the major novels of Defoe, Fielding, and Richardson to its use in the theory and practice of eighteenth-century architecture. Drawing on a wide range of architectural books, Varey argues that space can become a political instrument used by its designers to establish conformity, assert power, and give form to the aspirations of social classes. As an example, he cites the city of Bath, a neo-classical city designed to reflect the ...
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Overview

In this challenging and original study, Simon Varey relates the idea of space in the major novels of Defoe, Fielding, and Richardson to its use in the theory and practice of eighteenth-century architecture. Drawing on a wide range of architectural books, Varey argues that space can become a political instrument used by its designers to establish conformity, assert power, and give form to the aspirations of social classes. As an example, he cites the city of Bath, a neo-classical city designed to reflect the political values of the empire. The discussion of the novels examines narrative as a literary structure, the use of architectural imagery to describe people, and the political control of social space, resulting in an interesting look at literary criticism, architecture, and the history of ideas.
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Editorial Reviews

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"Knowledgeable, specific, and well-designed....the first book to talk not only about the influence of architecture on literature, but to enact that interplay, to make readers enter the edifice of writing." Kevin L. Cope, Philological Quarterly
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Note on translations; Introduction; Part I: 1. Space, architecture and politics; 2. Space, the architect and the design argument; Part II: 3. The rise of Bath; 4. An architect's imagination: John Wood's Bath; Part III: 5. Defoe and the politics of space; 6. Fielding and the convenience of design; 7. Richardson and the violation of space; 8. The politics of space; Index.

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