By Brean Hammond, Shaun Regan
Hammond and Regan enhance a brand new cultural analyzing of the formation of the British novel. Rejecting a teleological narrative of the genre's upward thrust, the learn provides a dynamic photograph of the emergence of the radical, that focuses upon formal innovation, social engagement, and inventive and advertisement pageant.
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Additional resources for Making the Novel: Fiction and Society in Britain, 1660-1789
The Queen of Hearts …30 Pope’s poem, first published in 1712, augmented in 1714, and revised in 1717, was written to intervene in a high-society quarrel between the 24 Making the Novel Fermor and Petre families, that was caused by Lord Petre publicly cutting off a lock of hair from the back of Arabella Fermor’s head. In the poem, Lord Petre becomes the predatory Baron, with Arabella cast as the coquette, Belinda. In literary criticism, the above extract would normally be produced as an example of mock-heroic verse, that is to say, verse that applies to contemporary situations the underlying conventions of the Greek and Roman epics.
Had they her wit, her vivacity of spirit, her Courage, her generous fortitude, her command in every graceful look and Action, they were most certainly fit to rule and Reign, and Man was only born robust and strong to secure ’em on those Thrones they are form’d (by Beauty, Softness, and a Thousand Charms which men want) to possess. Glorious Woman! was born for command and Dominion; and though custom has usurpt us the name of Rule over all; we from the beginning found our selves, (in spight of all our boasted prerogative) slaves and Vassals to the Almighty Sex.
Such, certainly, is not Silvia’s own conclusion. Quite possibly, Behn simply could not resist the temptation to put these arch-Tory sentiments into Philander’s mouth, notwithstanding the effect that this might have on what we now think of as a coherent, novelistic ‘character’. In other respects also, Love-Letters is a curious work. Even today, readers might well be struck by the extraordinary candour of its testimony to the terrifying power of sexual desire. Whereas, in stage tragedies of this period, heroes and heroines analyse their love-versus-honour dilemmas in high-sounding phrases, striking attitudes that seem far distant from the immediacies of physical passion, in Love-Letters there is Missing Parts: Fiction to Defoe 35 simply no contest between desire and duty.