William Hazlitt: Political Essayist by Kevin Gilmartin

William Hazlitt: Political Essayist

byKevin Gilmartin

Hardcover | June 29, 2015

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Over the course of a literary career that extended from the lingering Malthusian controversies of the late eighteenth century to the brink of the Reform Act of 1832, William Hazlitt produced a remarkable body of committed radical journalism. Against the view that partisan passion underminedhis aesthetic judgment and compromised his celebrated disinterestedness, William Hazlitt: Political Essayist restores politics to the center of his achievement as a critic and essayist. In doing so Kevin Gilmartin explores his constructive relationship with the early nineteenth-century popularreform movement, while acknowledging his desire to reflect critically on radical politics and express his own doubts about social progress. Early chapters attend closely to his critical method and matters of style and form, focusing on the political development of his contradictory prose manner. Paradox and inconsistency are central to his attack on "Legitimacy", a term he drew form the lexicon of post-Napoleonic political journalism.In treating legitimate government as a revived form of divine right monarchy, Hazlitt often produced harrowing visions of the perfect refinement of oppressive power and the complete elimination of any principle of liberty or resistance. At the same time he found ways to preserve his commitment tooppositional political expression and the redemptive necessity of what he termed "a word uttered against". Later chapters bring together the spiritual heritage of rational Dissent and emerging democratic developments in London to understand Hazlitt's distinctive mobilization of radical memory as away of contending with present injustice and envisioning a political future.

About The Author

Kevin Gilmartin has written widely on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British literature, with a particular interest in the politics of print culture. He is Professor of English Literature at the California Institute of Technology and a regular visiting professor in English and the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies a...
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Title:William Hazlitt: Political EssayistFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.05 inPublished:June 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198709315

ISBN - 13:9780198709312

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Political Hazlitt1. Radical Essayist2. Radical Argument3. Being Critical: History and Contradiction4. Dissenting Memory5. Representing Metropolitan LibertyConclusion: Radical Politics and the Arts