Paper Pellets: British Literary Culture after Waterloo

Hardcover | July 10, 2010

byRichard Cronin

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This study of the literary culture in Britain in the years after Waterloo begins with an account of two fatal duels, the famous duel of 16 February 1821, in which John Scott, editor of the London Magazine, fell, and the less well known duel of 26 March 1822, in which Alexander Boswell, son ofJohnson's biographer, was killed. These duels, Richard Cronin suggests, bring into sharp focus the distinctive features of literary culture in the years after Waterloo. The book ranges widely but at its centre are the three literary phenomena that best define the period: Walter Scott's novels,Byron's Don Juan, and the new literary magazines. It was a culture constituted not by the doctrine of sympathy that its leading writers held in common but by the antagonisms that divided them, a culture in which England vied with Scotland, literary and political principles converged, and there was avolatile relationship between the public and the private. These were the years in which publishing became an industry serving a mass readership, and literature came to be decisively identified with print rather than with manuscript. Its most prized cultural products were miscellaneous. Superficial,even heartless, responses to the world were valued. Male writers responded aggressively to the threat that literature might be a kind of writing largely consumed by women and increasingly produced by them. This was the culture that writers such as Wordsworth repudiated, but the relationship betweenthe culture that Wordsworth represented and the culture that he opposed, like the relationship between duellists, was at once violently aggressive and mutually supportive: each, as many writers of the period recognized, was dependent on the other.

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This study of the literary culture in Britain in the years after Waterloo begins with an account of two fatal duels, the famous duel of 16 February 1821, in which John Scott, editor of the London Magazine, fell, and the less well known duel of 26 March 1822, in which Alexander Boswell, son ofJohnson's biographer, was killed. These duel...

Richard Cronin is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely, especially on Romantic and Victorian literature. His Romantic Victorians: English Literature, 1824-1840 appeared in 2002, and Emma, co-edited with Dorothy McMillan, appeared in The Cambridge edition of the Works of Jane Austen in 2...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:300 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:July 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019958253X

ISBN - 13:9780199582532

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Two Duels2. Two Dinners3. Personalities4. Flesh-Coloured Silk5. Remembering Peebles6. Mr. Knight's Best Small Capitals7. Pistols and Horsewhips8. Disunity of Mind: The Novel as Magazine9. Practical Asyndeton: The Poem as Magazine10. Cruel Mockeries11. Jack and Gill12. Conclusion: Two CulturesBibliography