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The Young Philosopher

The Young Philosopher

Charlotte Smith
Elizabeth Kraft Editor
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition: 1
Pages: 438
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  • Book Info
    The Young Philosopher
    Book Description:

    InThe Young Philosopher, George Delmont embraces an agrarian life and devotes himself to the pursuit of knowledge. But it is George's love Medora Glenmorris and her mother Laura who provide the emotional core of the novel. Contrasting the pain and suffering of individuals with the idealism of the French Revolution and the hope provided by glimpses of life in America, Smith exposes philosophical enlightenment as an ineffective weapon for fighting the widespread corruption of English society. The early novels of Charlotte Smith (1749-1806) were precursors of the gothic tradition that came to dominate the Romantic period. Her later fiction, includingThe Young Philosopher(1798), were more political in nature and influenced both the form and substance of works by nineteenth-century novelists such as Austen and Dickens.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4823-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xxxii)

    When Charlotte Smith emerged on the literary scene in 1784 with the publication of herElegiac Sonnets and Other Poems, she had long cultivated a talent for writing. Anecdotes from her school days tell of her composing at the age of ten a poem on the death of General Wolfe.¹ And, by her own account, she was accustomed to beguiling “melancholy moments … by expressing in verse the sensations those moments brought.”² She had also exercised her skill as a writer of prose in the service of her father-in-law, a director of the East India Company, effectively defending him in...

  5. Chronology of Events in the Life and Times of Charlotte Smith
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxv)
  6. Note on the Text
    (pp. xxxvi-xxxvi)
  7. The Young Philosopher

    • Volume I
      (pp. 3-80)

      It is, I believe, in a work written by Mrs. Sarah Fielding, and now out of print, called “The Art of Tormenting,” that I have read the following fable:

      “A society of animals were once disputing on various modes of suffering, and of death; many offered their opinions, but it was at length agreed that the sheep, as the most frequent victim, could give the best account of the agonies inflicted by the teeth and claws of beasts of prey.”¹

      If a Writer can best describe who has suffered, I believe that all the evils arising from oppression, from fraud...

    • Volume II
      (pp. 81-158)

      The interest taken by Delmont in every thing that related to Glenmorris and his family, induced him to seize every occasion of hearing the particulars of their history. Mrs. Glenmorris, as solicitous on her part to be thoroughly understood, embraced the earliest opportunity of relating to him the occurrences of her own and her husband’s life; an eventful history, which, though told to Delmont in fragments at various times, shall be related here comprised in a single narrative.

      “My father,” said Mrs. Glenmorris, “though the native of another country, was one of the richest of those merchants who frequent the...

    • Volume III
      (pp. 159-240)

      Slowly and unwillingly as Delmont left the spot, where all his hopes of happiness were centered, he no sooner found himself a few miles from thence, than he proceeded with as much haste as if he expected to find happiness where he was going.

      Nothing was to him so intolerable as suspence. He thought, though he had not yet known many, that when an evil presented itself positively before him, he should find resolution to combat or to endure it; but as it has often been remarked, that an English soldier immediately loses a great portion of his natural courage...

    • Volume IV
      (pp. 241-354)

      Mr. Armitage, sending up a message that he was a stranger, who waited upon her about business, was admitted to Mrs. Crewkherne. Had he given his name to the servant, she would certainly have refused him an audience; she expressed herself very much surprised when he announced himself; for notwithstanding the virulence of her animosity against him, she did not know him even by sight.

      The good lady was in her dressing-room, and with her was one of those men who seem to have taken in some houses the place formerly occupied by the director and confessor. Mr. Armitage, from...

  8. Notes to the Novel
    (pp. 355-390)
  9. Variants
    (pp. 391-394)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 395-397)