Gregory Dart expands upon existing notions of Cockneys and the 'Cockney School' in the late Romantic period by exploring some of the broader ramifications of the phenomenon in art and periodical literature. He argues that the term was not confined to discussion of the Leigh Hunt circle, but was fast becoming a way of gesturing towards everything in modern metropolitan life that seemed discrepant and disturbing. Covering the ground between Romanticism and Victorianism, Dart presents Cockneyism as a powerful critical currency in this period, which helps provide a link between the works of Leigh Hunt and Keats in the 1810s and the early works of Charles Dickens in the 1830s. Through an examination of literary history, art history, urban history and social history, this book identifies the early nineteenth century figure of the Cockney as the true ancestor of modernity.
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Table of ContentsIntroduction: the Cockney moment; 1. Leigh Hunt, John Keats and the suburbs; 2. William Hazlitt and the Periodical Press; 3. Liber Amoris and lodging houses; 4. Pierce Egan and life in London; 5. Charles Lamb and the alchemy of the streets; 6. John Martin, John Soane and Cockney art; 7. B. R. Haydon and debtors' prisons; 8. Charles Dickens and Cockney adventures.