[Milton-L] Eighteenth Century Fiction Online - Volume 24, Number 4 Summer 2012

UTP Journals thawkic551 at rogers.com
Tue Jun 26 14:41:03 EDT 2012

Eighteenth-Century Fiction 

Volume 24, Number 4, Summer  2012



This issue contains: 


No Dishonour to Be a Pirate: The Problem of Infinite Advantage in Defoe's
Captain Singleton

Jeremy Wear  


In Captain Singleton (1720), Daniel Defoe rehearses the ethical and
discursive justifications of predatory capitalism. Through an examination of
Defoe's economic writings, I illustrate how the author confronts readers
with the moral ambiguity of legal trade by comparing the “litteral” pirate
Singleton with the “allegorical” pirates of London's central economic
institutions. Through this comparison, Defoe places legal trade on an
uncertain continuum with piracy. By extension, he explores the problematic
necessity of reconciling the hero-outlaw Singleton's piracy to conceptions
of national identity predicated on economic expansionism. Defoe suggests
this reconciliation is best achieved by understanding trade in terms of
“infinite advantage.” This article contextualizes “infinite advantage” as an
imaginative projection onto the world of the conditions necessary to sustain
infinite trade, and argues that Singleton appropriates this ideology to
palliate fears of Hobbesian scarcity. Thus, the novel examines the
conditions of scarcity that precipitate predatory trade practices alongside
the fantasy of economic infinitude that would make these practices obsolete.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.569


“Well Observed by the Poet”: Elias Brand and Richardson's British Ancients

Darryl P. Domingo      


Although Elias Brand contributes only one letter to the first edition of
Clarissa, and three letters to the revised third edition of 1751, he is
considered by Samuel Richardson important enough to include in his list of
the “Principal Characters.” This article accounts for Brand's complicated
role by analyzing in detail the meaning of the forty-five quotations
punctuating his letters, as well as the manner in which he quotes his tags
and texts. Brand's marshalling of spurious evidence against Clarissa and his
habit of quoting authors as authorities suggests that the latter may be a
key to the credibility of the former. Brand represents himself as a
confirmed “Ancient,” but taking the pedant at his own word is dangerous
because of the extent of his surprising debt to the British “Moderns” and to
the seventeenth-century Oxford scholar and Anglo-Latin poet, John Owen. This
article concludes that Brand's letters are thematic and structurally
integral to a novel that is, in many ways, about the consequences of right
and wrong reading.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.597


Du roman au drame: Grandison et Le Fils naturel

Shelly Charles 


S'appuyant sur une nouvelle chronologie des lectures richardsoniennes de
Diderot, l'article fait l'hypothèse d'une influence précoce de l'Histoire de
Sir Charles Grandison sur la conception du drame diderotien. Avec son rendu
minutieux du dialogue rompu et de la pantomime expressive, avec sa gestion
complexe des plans scéniques, Grandison, lu dans la traduction littérale
complète de Gaspard-Joël Monod, fournit à Diderot le modèle d'une nouvelle
esthétique dont l'adaptation servirait à régénérer un théâtre sclérosé.
Avant d'examiner cette présence du modèle dramaturgique richardsonien dans
l'«espèce de roman» formé par Le Fils naturel et les Entretiens, l'article
propose une étude approfondie de l'intertexte du Fils naturel. La célèbre
réécriture par Diderot d'Il vero amico est ainsi revisitée et expliquée à
partir de la compatibilité de l'intrigue goldonienne avec celle du dernier
roman de Richardson, œuvre «barbare» dont il s'agissait de retenir la leçon
tout en la réduisant aux dimensions d'une pièce respectant «les lois des
trois unités».


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.623


Discours libertin et argument national dans le triptyque (Haywood,
Crébillon-fils et Kimber) des heureux orphelins

Beatrijs Vanacker       


Dans cette étude, sera examinée la mise en scène du libertin en tant que
véhicule et figure d'un discours sur les nations dans un cycle de trois
fictions romanesques du xviiie siècle. L'original anglais, The
FortunateFoundlings (1744) d'Eliza Haywood, forme la base d'une «imitation
de l'anglais» de Crébillon-fils, Les Heureux Orphelins (1754), avant d'être
remanié une seconde fois par le romancier anglais Edward Kimber, TheHappy
Orphans (1759). Dans cette suite d'adaptations romanesques, nous nous
focalisons sur le parcours d'un seul personnage, le libertin, dont la
caractérisation varie également selon l'approche—culturellement
déterminée—des auteurs. Cette attention exclusive pour le (discours)
libertin nous permettra d'aborder le triptyque des «heureux orphelins» par
le biais d'une lecture imagologique—c'est-à-dire une étude de la mise en
scène fictionnelle d'images nationales—qui prend en outre une portée morale.
Comme il s'avérera, à travers la figure du libertin, les images nationales
sont souvent, sinon subordonnées, du moins mises au service d'un discours
sur la séduction de l'Autre.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.655


Roderick Random, Literacy, and the Appropriation of Plebeian Culture

Jennifer Thorn            


This article characterizes Tobias Smollett's Roderick Random (1748) in terms
of a specifically mid-eighteenth-century ambivalence about polite literacy
and progress that both precludes its reading as a Bildungsroman and limits
the utility of modelling the novel as an agent of empire. Though the preface
and ending of the novel affirm traditional hierarchy, the digressive and
peripatetic middle values such plebeian virtues in the protagonist as
loyalty, righteous opposition to injustice, and manly competence, which are
formal elements resembling such popular chapbook romances as Jack the
Giant-Killer. Particularly significant are both the novel's portrait of
Roderick's defiantly and virtuously impolite childhood and the depiction of
maritime life as an alternative to the corruption and snobbishness of
land-bound life, an alternate ethos that is complicated by its facilitation
of the slave-trading that ultimately enables the Great House fantasy with
which the novel concludes.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.687


Reviews/Comptes Rendus



DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.4.711


Eighteenth Century Fiction publishes articles in both English and French on
all aspects of imaginative prose in the period 1700–1800, but will also
examine papers on late 17th-century or early 19th-century fiction,
particularly when the works are discussed in connection with the eighteenth


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The editors invite contributions on all aspects of imaginative prose in the
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The suggested length for manuscripts is 6,000-8,000 words, but longer and
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Posted by T Hawkins, UTP Journals

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