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The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty

The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty (Hardback)

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This comparative study of Defoe's and Swift's treatments of liberty embraces what seemed the most significant parts of their vast, multifaceted oeuvres, both non-fictional and fictional. Defoe's and Swift's positions with regard to the English constitution and liberties are assessed here through a close examination of their views on contemporary religious and political issues. Moreover, their involvement in the debates on the liberties and constitutions of Scotland and Ireland, respectively, could not be left out of this comparative approach to their treatments of liberty in the broader sense. Also of primary concern is the liberty of expression and of the press underlined (though ambiguously) by both authors as an essential precondition for any debate, political or otherwise. The antithetic relationship between "snare" and "liberty" is examined in the context of the analogy between the political constitution (the body politic) and the human constitution (the natural body) commonly drawn in early 18th century political writings, including Defoe's and Swift's.

This analogy provides appropriate means of identifying important links within, as well as between, the two authors' works, since both focused on "snares" in the political and human constitutions. The part of the study devoted to the "snare" in human nature mainly considers the fictional works. Much attention has been given in this regard to the contrasting ways in which both authors have dealt with those "snares" and the interaction between the human and the political constitutions.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writersEssays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical science & theoryPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPhilosophy TheorySocial & political philosophy Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Publication Date: 01/08/2009 ISBN-13: 9781443810104  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Zouheir Jamoussi was born in 1941 in Tunisia. He studied English Literature and History at the universities of Tunis, Wisconsin and Paris (Sorbonne). His teaching from 1971 to 2002 at the University of Tunis mainly focused on 18th century British literature and history. He is the author of Primogeniture and Entail in England: A Survey of their History and Representation in Literature (1999) and La Liberte dans l'oeuvre de Defoe: entre la realite et la fiction (2001).

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