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Studies in the Eighteenth Century III

Studies in the Eighteenth Century III

R. F. Brissenden
J. C. Eade
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 264
  • Book Info
    Studies in the Eighteenth Century III
    Book Description:

    This volume of essays, from the Third David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminar, continues the valuable and lively tradition established in the two earlier seminars and volumes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3245-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
    R.F.B. and J.C.E.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Problems of Johnson’s Middle Years—the 1762 Pension
    (pp. 1-20)
    James L. Clifford

    The topic of this paper has been thoroughly covered by James Boswell, as well as by twentieth-century scholars annotating Boswell. What need is there for any further biographical work on Johnson? Do we not know everything that is important? And what new information that is really important can possibly turn up at this late date?

    The answer to the first question I made clear some twenty years ago in myYoung Samuel Johnson.¹ Boswell did not meet Johnson until the latter was in his fifties, when the greater part of his important writing was done, and had to rely for...

  6. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  7. Boswell’s Ebony Cabinet
    (pp. 21-36)
    Mary Hyde

    This cabinet is a famous piece of furniture in the literary world, an object of fascination to Boswellians, perhaps unwisely, because its importance has often been misinterpreted. The mythwillpersist that the ebony cabinet is synonymous with the ‘papers of James Boswell’, the biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson, and this is not so.

    The ebony cabinet doesnotequate with Boswell’s papers, and in the story I am going to tell, I want to differentiate between the two. It will be helpful to remember that no piece of furniture on earth couldeverhave held Boswell’s enormous manuscript mass....

  8. Bath: Ideology and Utopia, 1700–1760
    (pp. 37-54)
    R. S. Neale

    To talk about Bath is to talk about eighteenth-century England. But I am not prepared or able, like some historians, to talk about an England or a Bath that was objectively real or really there. I can only speak about Bath in the light of my own experience of its surviving buildings, mortgages, leases, newspapers, estate and corporation records, and a variety of other manuscripts, plans, prints, pamphlets, scraps of paper. I will do so with the aid of a conceptual apparatus in which the main parts are ideas about the relationships between society, men, and creativity and knowledge put...

  9. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  10. Social Stratification and the Obsequious Curve: Goldsmith and Rowlandson
    (pp. 55-72)
    Robert H. Hopkins

    1974 marks the bicentennial of Oliver Goldsmith’s death, andThe Vicar of Wakefieldcontinues to be, in the words of theJohnsonian News Letter,‘one of the best—and most baffling—of 18th-century novels’.¹ By far the most baffling aspect ofThe Vicarhas been its tonality, Goldsmith’s attitudes towards his materials. IsThe Vicara sentimental romance which begins comically, turns melodramatic, and concludes happily? In 1768 Fanny Burney testified in her diary that she was tempted at first to throw the book aside but then was ‘surprised into tears—and in the second volume ... really sobb’d’. But...

  11. Rousseau and the Common People
    (pp. 73-94)
    L. G. Crocker

    Rousseau’s attitude toward ‘le peuple’, like many aspects of his life and thought, suffers from any attempt to reduce it to simple and unitary terms. On the contrary, it is bifocal. The lens through which he peers changes, as it was his wont, according to polemical circumstance, truly in chameleon-like fashion. It changes also with the substance of his considerations; and I shall endeavour to distinguish his personal or affective attitudes from his political reflections. Even though the former permeate the latter,la distinction s’impose.However, the deepest roots of Rousseau’s bifocality lie in neither of these two factors. His...

  12. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  13. Jacques le Fataliste: un problème de cohérence structurelle
    (pp. 95-120)
    François Van Laere

    Il existe peu d’écrivains dont le style soit aussi limpide que celui de Diderot. Pourtant des querelles d’interpretation ont surgi á propos de maints de ses textes. On peut naturellement concevoir que des ouvrages oú la philosophie privilégie la méthode heuristique puissent conserver un caractére d’indétermination qui ne favorise guére les exégéses tranchées. Il est plus singulier que des reuvres de fiction (des œuvres oú la fiction du moins prend la place prépondérante, comme dansLe Neveu de Rameau ou Jacques le Fataliste),c’est-á-dire des narrations ou la relative gratuité pourrait s’allier á une grande force d’évidence pour imposer un...

  14. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  15. The Fortunes of Voltaire’s Foppington
    (pp. 121-136)
    Colin Duckworth

    The story I wish to unfold goes from 1659 to 1888, and moves back and forth across the English Channel. Disregarding Lewis Caroll’s advice to begin at the beginning, I shall start at the end. In the mid-1860s, one Dr Doran, F. S. A., wrote a bitter complaint in hisAnnals of the English Stage.¹ It was to the effect that the French had had the cheek to stage Vanbrugh’sThe Relapseat the Odéon in the spring of 1862 calling it a posthumous work by Voltaire. He says:

    All the French theatrical world in the capital flocked to the...

  16. Nerves, Spirits, and Fibres: Towards Defining the Origins of Sensibility
    (pp. 137-158)
    G. S. Rousseau

    We have all heard a great deal in the last decade about Kuhn’s ‘paradigms’. His definition inThe Structure of Scientific Revolutionshas itself become something of a classic:

    Aristotle’sPhysica,Ptolemy’sAlmagest,Newton’sPrincipiaandOpticks,Franklin’sElectricity,Lavoisier’sChemistry,and Lyell’sGeology—these and many other works served for a time implicitly to define the legitimate problems and methods of a research field for succeeding generations of practitioners. They were able to do so because they shared two essential characteristics. Their achievement was sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific...

  17. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  18. Philosophie et Littérature
    (pp. 159-170)
    Yvon Belaval

    Entre l’expression que nous appelons—depuis quand?—littéraire et l’expression philosophique, il ne semble pas y avoir de différence essentielle; maints exemples Ie prouveraient: le poéme de Parménide, ou de Lucréce, le théâtre a thése, le conte ou Ie roman philosophique (sans oublier les utopies), le réalisme militant sous toutes ses formes. Il arrive que l’œuvre littréaire se voue, didactique, á exposer un systéme: leDe Natura rerum.Parfois elle introduit dans son récit une moralité, une réplique, un discours, une page, transcrite ou récrite, d’un philosophe: Ainsi, au début deGil Blas,on en tend qu’un fiatteur vit aux...

  19. Nichol Smith’s Oxford Book Reappraised
    (pp. 171-184)
    William B. Todd

    In this seminar, and particularly in this the third triennial convention, it is altogether fitting and proper to reconsider, after some fifty years, David Nichol Smith’sOxford BookofEighteenth Century Verse.By its very nature, Nichol Smith’s own anthology in the Oxford series does not rank among his enduring contributions to scholarship; yet of all his work it is the one book known around the world, the one most susceptible to the ravages of time, and the only one where—cognisant of ever changing tastes—the editor himself appears to invite some later review.

    That Nichol Smith should have...

  20. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  21. Integrity and Life in Pope’s Poetry
    (pp. 185-208)
    S. L. Goldberg

    In the Preface to his edition of Shakespeare, Pope remarked that Shakespeare’s work was ‘inspiration indeed; he is not so much an imitator as an instrument of Nature; and ’tis not so just to say that he speaks from her, as that she speaks through him’.¹ It is easy to see what he meant. One mark of a very great writer is to present us with not so much a particular view of the world, as a ‘world’ itself—an imagined reality so large, so substantial, so free of any merely personal bias, that it seems continuous with our own....

  22. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  23. Allusion: The Poet as Heir
    (pp. 209-240)
    Christopher Ricks

    Augustan poetry is remarkable for its literary allusion; the poetry creates meanings, comprehends judgments, and animates experiences, by bringing into play other works of literature and their very words. This is ‘the Poetry of Allusion’, to cite the subtitle of Reuben Brower’sAlexander Pope.¹ I should like to consider the implications of J. B. Broadbent’s words: ‘Literary allusion can be a lesson in the abuse of authority, as well as in the generous spending of an inheritance. We need an essay on “The poet as heir”.’²

    My argument is that literary allusion is a way of dealing with the predicaments...

  24. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  25. Augustan Prose Fiction and the Romance Tradition
    (pp. 241-256)
    Henry Knight Miller

    A brief prolegomenon on literary history may introduce my topic. Among the various patterns firmly imposed upon the study of literary history during the nineteenth century was the conception of a rise and evolution of literary modes.¹ This is a pattern which has proved so gloriously self-serving to each succeeding age that it appears unlikely we shall soon rid ourselves of the notion that, just as there has been a steady evolutionary progress through the long history of the major anthropoids—which may itself, from time to time, seem a dubious proposition—so too there must have been such an...

  26. Index
    (pp. 257-262)
  27. Back Matter
    (pp. 263-263)