Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment: Travels through France, Italy, and Scotland

Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment: Travels through France, Italy, and Scotland

by Richard J. Jones
     
 

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Tobias Smollett (1721-71) is best known today as a novelist whereas in the eighteenth century he was primarily regarded as a historian and critic. In Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment, Richard J. Jones explores the diversity of Smollett's journalistic and literary writings and establishes new connections between Smollett's work and writers of the Scottish

Overview

Tobias Smollett (1721-71) is best known today as a novelist whereas in the eighteenth century he was primarily regarded as a historian and critic. In Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment, Richard J. Jones explores the diversity of Smollett's journalistic and literary writings and establishes new connections between Smollett's work and writers of the Scottish Enlightenment. Taking as his focal point Smollett's visit to Nice, between 1763 and 1765, and the account he wrote of it in Travels through France and Italy (1766), Jones argues that Smollett's account should be read as a "pocket encyclopedia" in the tradition of Voltaire, rather than as a conventional "travel narrative." Discussing Smollett's engagement with medicine, fine art, the theater and history, Jones offers a productive juxtaposition of authors, texts and contexts, presenting Smollett as a writer whose Scottish (and particularly Glaswegian) identity informed his involvement in a wider European Enlightenment.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
The shelf of scholarly monographs on Smollett is short: the only important works in English in recent decades are James Basker's Tobias Smollett, Critic and Journalist (1988), Aileen Douglas's Uneasy Sensations: Smollett and the Body (CH, Jan'96, 33-2591), Jerry C. Beasley's Tobias Smollett, Novelist (1998), and William Gibson's Art and Money in the Writings of Tobias Smollett (2006). A new work on such a major author is therefore welcome. Jones (Open Univ., UK) uses Smollett's travel book, Travels through France and Italy, as a starting point for a series of investigations of the connections between the Scottish writer's works and the Scottish Enlightenment. There are chapters on medicine (Smollett was a physician), literary criticism, drama, and history. This attractive, clearly written volume will be valuable for anyone interested in Smollett's multifarious career, and also for those who study 18th-century travel writing and Scottish intellectual life. Summing Up: Recommended.
Choice
The shelf of scholarly monographs on Smollett is short: the only important works in English in recent decades are James Basker's Tobias Smollett, Critic and Journalist (1988), Aileen Douglas's Uneasy Sensations: Smollett and the Body (CH, Jan'96, 33-2591), Jerry C. Beasley's Tobias Smollett, Novelist (1998), and William Gibson's Art and Money in the Writings of Tobias Smollett (2006). A new work on such a major author is therefore welcome. Jones (Open Univ., UK) uses Smollett's travel book, Travels through France and Italy, as a starting point for a series of investigations of the connections between the Scottish writer's works and the Scottish Enlightenment. There are chapters on medicine (Smollett was a physician), literary criticism, drama, and history. This attractive, clearly written volume will be valuable for anyone interested in Smollett's multifarious career, and also for those who study 18th-century travel writing and Scottish intellectual life. Summing Up: Recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611480481
Publisher:
Bucknell University Press
Publication date:
09/22/2011
Series:
Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850 Series
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.41(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Richard J. Jones is an editor and associate lecturer with the Open University in the UK. He is interested in the culture of the long eighteenth century and, in particular, questions about genre, form, and the relationship of philosophy and literature.

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