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By Stephen Arata, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, Jennifer Wicke

"Explores the background, evolution, genres, and narrative parts of the English novel, whereas chronicling its improvement from the early 18th century to the current day"--

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This choice of authoritative essays represents the most recent scholarship on themes in relation to the topics, routine, and types of English fiction, whereas chronicling its improvement in Britain from Read more...

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If the supernatural forces in the novel exceed rational explanation, so too do the deeds of this world. When, in the closing sequences of the novel, the mob hears of the “inhuman murder of Agnes,” they attack the convent and literally tear the abbess to pieces, leaving her body “no more than a mass of flesh, unsightly, shapeless, and disgusting” (2008, 355, 356). The release of the bloodthirsty energies of the mob involves no supernatural power, but its acts defy reason, and its deeds are sanctioned by no law.

Lasalle, IL: Open Court. Johnson, Samuel. 1969 [1750]. The Rambler, edited by W. J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss. The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 3. New Haven: Yale University Press. Richardson, Samuel. 1751. Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, 3rd edition. 8 volumes. London: S. Richardson. Richardson, Samuel. 1985 [1747–1748]. Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, edited by Angus Ross. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Richardson, Samuel. 2001 [1740]. Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded, edited by Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely.

The 1790s 31 Conservative writers emphasize obligation and duty over rights, locating their c­haracters within a moral order that interrogates the possibility of autonomy upon which individual models of rights are based. In Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800), Elizabeth Hamilton satirizes philosophers such as Mary Hays (the insupportable Bridgetina Botherim), Godwin (Mr. Myope), and Holcroft (Mr. Glib). Sneering at goodness that does not flow “from a conviction of general utility, pursued through the maze of abstract reasoning” (2000, 173), Hamilton’s philosophers laud equality in glowing terms but mistreat their servants, exalt duty to all mankind but shirk daily obligations, and abuse the language of rights to justify a self‐indulgent disregard for others.

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