[Milton-L] Eighteenth Century Fiction Online - Volume 24, Number 3 Spring 2012

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Mon Mar 19 10:56:06 EDT 2012

Eighteenth-Century Fiction 

Volume 24, Number 3  Spring 2012 



This issue contains: 


Rethinking Gender and Virtue through Richardson's Domestic Accounting

Natalie Roxburgh        


A formal approach to the history of the novel is illuminative when form
itself becomes a marker of virtue, a term at the heart of the so-called
"Pamela controversy," whose respondents doubt the virtue of Pamela's
accounts. Analyzing the ways in which Samuel Richardson uses the formal
components of the account in Pamela helps us to understand just what is at
stake in the Pamela controversy. The changes Richardson makes in Clarissa,
including proliferating points of view in order to help the reader to trust
Clarissa's account and also showing by external means that Clarissa holds
herself accountable to her account, reveal a necessary fictional supplement
to accounting. This technique resembles strategies that the Bank of England
uses, such as its architectural layout, to help the public trust the
soundness of its own accounting mechanisms. In this way, formal analysis of
Pamela and Clarissa reveals an important link between the rise of public
credit and the rise of the novel.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.403


Clarissa Harlowe's "Ode to Wisdom": Composition, Publishing History, and the
Semiotics of Printed Music

Thomas McGeary      


This article re-examines the "Ode to Wisdom" in Samuel Richardson's
Clarissa. The ode's last three stanzas were set to music by Clarissa Harlowe
and included in the novel as a fold-out plate of engraved music. I
reconstruct the ode's printing history, comment on its composer and musical
style, and offer corrections to some claims found in earlier critical
discussions. I also note some previously unobserved bibliographic and
textual problems in the text of the ode and the musical plate.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.431


Sarah Scott's "Attick School": Moral Philosophy, Ethical Agency, and
Millenium Hall

Deborah Weiss           


At a time in which claims about the morality of feeling were becoming
increasingly popular, Sarah Scott offered readers of Millenium Hall both a
critique of, and an alternative to, moral feeling philosophy. As articulated
by such figures as Adam Smith, moral feeling philosophy relied heavily on
ideas about the impartial spectator's response to phenomena, particularly on
the spectator's feelings of sympathy for the suffering of others. In her
critique, Scott highlights the dangers of a system that collapses the
distance between thinking and feeling and that encourages both egotism and
passivity in the face of suffering. Using the formal resources of the novel,
Scott re-establishes inter- and intrapersonal distances necessary for moral
judgment. Most importantly, she uses the organization of the novel and the
reactions of characters to show that the separation of rational response
from emotional reaction is productive of ethical action. In this way, she
makes Millenium Hall into a school for the moral education of readers.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.459


Rewriting Radicalism: Wollstonecraft in Burney's The Wanderer

Tara Ghoshal Wallace            


This article reconsiders the connection between Mary Wollstonecraft's Maria,
or The Wrongs of Woman and Frances Burney's The Wanderer, arguing that
reading the two texts in tandem reveals close affinities as well as
strategic (as opposed to ideological) differences. While The Wanderer rather
crudely parodies Wollstonecraft's revolutionary fervour in the character of
Elinor Joddrel, it also thematizes and advances, in subterranean ways, the
specific feminist agenda proposed in Wollstonecraft's posthumous novel. The
anti-heroine embodies Wollstonecraft's scandalous life and opinions, and the
social critique articulated in her novel weaves through the heroine's
trajectory, replicated and revised so that the wrongs inflicted upon the
problematic Maria re-emerge as the difficulties endured by the estimable
Juliet. Fracturing Wollstonecraft into historical persona and text, The
Wanderer enacts a strategy of domesticating and assimilating into genteel
society the progressive ideology of this difficult and polarizing icon of
revolutionary romanticism. Locating Juliet's travails within the historical
context of the French Revolution, Burney's depiction of a woman almost
literally "Bastilled" by marriage aims to demonstrate that oppressive
patriarchal practices contravene an English sense of justice.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.487


Opening the Phosphoric "Envelope": Scientific Appraisal, Domestic Spectacle,
and (Un)"Reasonable Creatures" in Edgeworth's Belinda

Nicole M. Wright         


Maria Edgeworth's novel Belinda (1801) has received increasing attention in
recent years from scholars interested in the author's pedagogical methods
(introduced by Edgeworth and her father Richard Lovell Edgeworth in the
treatise Practical Education [1798]). Yet there has been little sustained
critical assessment of the novel's scenes of empirical inquiry, specifically
the two phosphoric spectacles, or attention to how these scenes reflect
late-Enlightenment debates and Edgeworth's call for a significant revamping
of the period's didactic scientific literature. Far from disavowing the
value of all emotional response in favour of a frigid adherence to empirical
inquiry, Edgeworth's characters show that empiricism can bolster domestic
harmony and strengthen emotional bonds within the household. Edgeworth
responds to contemporary debates regarding the use of spectacle in teaching
science, suggesting that proper scientific education liberates those
benighted by superstition and societal prejudices. The scientific method's
appeal lies in its transformative effect on the novel's characters, as it
generates a shared empirically grounded discourse, fostering communication
between characters differing in race, social rank, education, or age.


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.509


Reviews/Comptes Rendus


DOI: 10.3138/ecf.24.3.537



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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Submissions to Eighteenth Century Fiction

The editors invite contributions on all aspects of imaginative prose in the
period 1700-1800, but are also happy to consider papers on late
seventeenth-century or early nineteenth-century fiction. The languages of
publication are English and French. Articles about the fiction of other
languages are welcomed and comparative studies are particularly encouraged.
The suggested length for manuscripts is 6,000-8,000 words, but longer and
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The Chicago Manual of Style is used for most points in ECF. Articles
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are encouraged  <mailto:%20ecf at mcmaster.ca> ecf at mcmaster.ca. As ECF
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the article itself.


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Posted by T Hawkins, UTP Journals

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