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Revolutionary Subjects in the English "Jacobin" Novel, 1790-1805

Revolutionary Subjects in the English "Jacobin" Novel, 1790-1805 (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Revolutionary Subjects in the English "Jacobin" Novel engages ongoing debates on subject-formation and rights discourse through the so-called "English Jacobin" novels. Ostensibly celebrating the universal rights-bearing subject, these political novels inadvertently also questioned the limitations of such universalist conceptions. Including works by both men and women, and those normatively identified as radical alongside others considered more conservative or even "anti-Jacobin," this work examines the shared efforts to represent developing political consciousness and to inculcate such consciousness in readers across a reformist continuum. These novels' efforts to expand the citizen-subject threatened to reveal the cost implicit in accessing subjectivity on universal terms. The sovereign subject modeled as the ideal republican radical subject is undercut, even revealed as inadequate or impossible, in subversive narrative moments in these fictions--not always in line with the work's overt "moral." If the concept of human rights appears both necessary and inadequate in 2009, it was likewise problematic at the moment of its greatest appeal in the revolutionary 1790s. Miriam L. Wallace is Associate Professor of British and American literature at New College of Florida.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writersEssays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800 Publisher: Associated University Presses Publication Date: 01/08/2009 ISBN-13: 9780838757055  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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